Oxfam has been providing water to women refugee camps in Bangladesh. Male officials run the camps, for women fleeing Burma. These men target women and children for ‘voluntary’ repatriation. Families are separated and sexual abuse is rife. Oxfam, in contrast, is successfully integrating gender equality into its water programme, made easier because Oxfam staff live in the camp, unlike staff in other NGOs. Female engineers and health educators have set up tap stands, women’s health centres, and children’s health education centres. Women are becoming empowered as they make and implement decisions in the camp, in spite of opposition by officials.
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