The elimination of inequalities is one of SWA’s Guiding Principles, and is also critical for realising the human rights to water and sanitation and all other human rights. Further, the principle of eliminating inequalities or ‘leave no one behind’ is at the core of the SDGs. Understanding that “a focus on averages when setting development goals can mask serious problems” is central to being able to identify those who are being left behind and finding solutions to address these inequalities. SDG 6 will only be met if in 2030 everyone, including all those individuals or groups that are forgotten, marginalised or discriminated against, gain access to safely managed water, hygiene and sanitation services.
The SWA global multi-stakeholder partnership encourages allpartners to collaborate to achieve the SDGs, with a particular focus on leaving no one behind. This must include ensuring that countries prioritise access to basic services for all over improving services for a few. To this end, partners worktogether to identify marginalized populations based on the criteria of access to water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as wealth, and show leadership by developing adequate strategies for these populations. All the dimensions of marginality (availability, accessibility and affordability) aretaken into consideration while designing appropriate policies.
The elimination of inequalities is also incorporated in other SWA activities, such as the High-level Meetings, where Leave No One Behind was the theme of the 2019 Sector Ministers’ Meeting. There are also several commitments tabled by SWA partners under the Mutual Accountability Mechanism with the specific aim of reducing inequalities. The first SWA Briefing Paper focused on Leave No One Behind.