GWP Highlights Gender at 7th World Water Forum

Posted: 2015-05-13

“Gender equity for a Water-Secure Future” was organized at the recent 7th World Water Forum in Korea. The organizers, Women for Water Partnership (WfWP), wanted to highlight the importance of women and gender in the field of water, sanitation, and sustainable development.

About 50 participants, mainly women, took part in the 2-day event, consisting of interactive discussions on women’s roles. The participants discussed responsibilities, actions, initiatives and contributions to a water-secure today and tomorrow. The topics addressed were: Enough Safe Water for All; Water for Food; Gender disaggregated data; Women  Leadership in Water Management; Adaptation to Change: managing risk and uncertainty for resilience and disaster preparedness; Integrated Water Management for sustainable development;  Green Growth; Integrated Sanitation for all.

Anna Tsvietkova represented UNENGO “MAMA-86”, a Ukrainian NGO and member of GWP Ukraine and WfWP. She facilitated the plenary session on “Water for Food”, and held a presentation at the session on “Women Leadership in Water management“, which was focused on “Women leadership for WASH”.

“Women’s leadership in WASH – water, sanitation and hygiene – is strong due to their natural sensitiveness to a lack of access to WASH, and high motivation to provide adequate and healthy life conditions for themselves, their families and their children,” said Ms. Tsvietkova, stressing the importance to involve women at all levels:

“Women, and especially women NGOs have a capacity and relevant knowledge on situations at local level, and they have to play a more active and strong role in achieving equal right to WASH. For this they need an equal participant role in the WASH planning cycle: decision making, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the progress. Women WASH initiatives have to have political, social support and adequate resources allocation.”

WfWP and GWP Collaboration

The WfWP pre-conference resulted in a set of recommendations, formulated to implement and upscale solutions to achieve a water-secure future where gender equality is the norm. The recommendations were shared at the Special Thematic Session: “Women for a Water Secure World: Past, Present and Future” at the WWF7.

MoU signing in KoreaAt this this session GWP Chair Dr. Ursula Schaefer-Preuss also spoke of the GWP Gender Strategy, which was launched in September 2014 in Stockholm. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between GWP and WfWP to assist with the Gender Strategy implementation.

“I am happy to announce that to kick-start the implementation of GWPs Gender Strategy, we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Chair of WfWP, Mariet Verhoef-Cohen. The objective of our joint endeavours is to support poor women in our partner organizations to promote a water secure world,” said Dr. Schaefer-Preuss, who also fully supported the idea of an international UN Year of Water and Women, which was presented by WfWP.

Top photo: The participants of the gender pre-conference in Korea.

Inset photo: At the signing of the GWP-WfWP MoU in Korea. 

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