A Structured Review of Emotional Barriers to WASH Provision for Schoolgirls Post-Disaster

by Margarita Garfias Royo 1, Elinor Parrott 2, Emily-Marie Pacheco 2, Imaduddin Ahmed 1, Ella Meilianda 3, Intan Kumala 4, Rina Suryani Oktari 5, Helene Joffe 2 and Priti Parikh 1

Sustainability 202214(4), 2471; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042471

Received: 13 January 2022 / Revised: 3 February 2022 / Accepted: 13 February 2022 / Published: 21 February 2022

(This article belongs to the Special Issue Risk Assessment and Sustainable Disaster Management)



Pubescent girls face unique emotional barriers to returning to school after a disaster concerning water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). This paper explores themes of WASH, gender violence, the lack of dignity and sense of shame arising from inadequate WASH facilities for girls in disaster settings. We conducted a structured literature review of 126 sources to investigate the emotional constraints facing pubescent girls concerning WASH in schools in Indonesia, a region prone to frequent disasters. Findings are synthesised into four major themes: psychological experiences of WASH, challenges faced by girls in schools, barriers to inclusive WASH provision and how to create a holistic approach to WASH. Key conclusions include the need for interdisciplinary research, cross sectoral collaboration, more evidence and research in Indonesia, especially regarding menstrual hygiene management, improved toilet design to reduce the physical barriers linked to emotional barriers and inclusive design for those with disabilities.


WASHschoolgirlsdisaster settingspsychological factorsIndonesiawellbeing

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