Contributing to a gender-balanced WASH sector

Purity Kerubo is a laboratory technologist at the Gusii Water and Sewerage Company (GUWASCO). The company is among 13 water utilities that USAID’s Kenya Integrated Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (KIWASH) project is supporting to improve service delivery. One such support has been on gender equity mainstreaming.

“I joined GUWASCO as a casual laborer and after a few years was promoted to laboratory technologist,” Purity says. She holds a diploma in analytical chemistry. Despite her qualifications, Purity has faced challenges in her career because of her gender. “It is unfortunate that male chauvinism is still rampant. Some still hold the belief that technical fields are meant for men only,” she says.

Reflecting on some of the challenges she faces, she adds, “Sometimes the job is demanding because heavy lifting is required, especially when receiving supplies such as chemicals and equipment. As a woman, when you cannot do the heavy lifting, some judge you as being physically unfit for the job.”

“Women in technical fields must work hard to eliminate any doubts about their abilities and competencies. Attitude change and creating a good working rapport with all colleagues is a sure way of avoiding resistance to more women in the workplace,” notes Purity.

Her core job entails checking the water quality to guarantee all water variables are within the permitted parameters. “I am satisfied with my work because I know I am guaranteeing clean and safe water for consumers,” says Purity. “This also motivates me to pay attention to details because any wrong test could potentially affect the health of our customers.”

Purity believes that gender equality mainstreaming should start not at the work place but with families. “Parents should ensure that their children have equal education opportunities. There is no way to seek gender equity when women do not have the required skills and training,” she points out. Purity plans to pursue further education to advance her career. “I want to pursue a degree in analytical chemistry, and I look forward to reaching the level of a chief chemist in the future.”

With KIWASH support, companies like GUWASCO have continued to overcome gender biases and improve opportunities for women. In the process, the company has developed a performance improvement plan which has helped the company improve its service delivery, while ensuring equal employment opportunities for women.

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.

Kiwash Blog

Frida Musyoka, the revenue clerk and project manager at the Kithambangii Water Project (KWP) in Kitui County, is passionate about her job. She describes it...
Like many slums and shantytowns worldwide, water in the Kibera area of Nairobi is scarce, costly, unreliable and contaminated. The largest slum in East Africa,...
For years, the Sivilia Primary School struggled to provide water to its students. The school is in hilly Navakholo village in Kakamega County. “The school...

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Contact Us

Mobile: +254 790 999 072
Mobile: +254 780 999 070

Address: UN Crescent, Gigiri
P.O Box 1863 - 00621
Nairobi, Kenya

The Kenya Integrated Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Project (KIWASH) - Nairobi, Kenya - This website is made possible by the support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID.) The contents of this website are the sole responsibility of DAI and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government. For more information review our Privacy Policy and Disclaimer. This website contains cookies like quantcast and chartbeat. They allow NationBuilder to monitor user activity in order to make improvements to the website. Involuntary personal information is not gathered or shared. Users can disable these cookies to prevent tracking user activity.