International Women's Day 2017

Drawing on the global theme for this year: Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality, we have asked women in the water community to answer the question: How can the water sector step it up for gender equality?

Martina Zupan
Chair of GWP Slovenia 

"On the occasion of the World Women's Day, I feel happiness living in a part of the world and in a country where women have all options to learn, to study, to work. However we should not forget that this did not occur by itself. The gratitude goes above all to previous generations of women who during the 20th century had changed the perception of gender equality.

In our part of the world they obtained many rights by great effort and opened up all the possibilities of success for future generations. The question is whether we and the younger generations know how to take advantage of it. And it is another question whether the women today often do not put limits to themselves. In fact, it all depends on the women themselves.

Warer Women in Slovenia

Slovenia has a remarkable number of successful women both in Slovenia and abroad. In Slovenia lives the woman who was one of the first to write about the climate changes and their possible impact on people’s lives - Prof. Lučka Kajfež Bogataj. At the beginning there were a lot of skeptics even among the experts however today, we are already facing more frequent and stronger extreme weather, floods and droughts. Today, Prof. Kajfež Bogataj deals mainly with the possibilities of adaptation to the new situation. She disseminates the knowledge to her students and in her books to the general public and younger generations."


IWD-2017-SusanneSusanne Brandstetter
Chairperson of Public Participation Expert Group of ICDPR (International Commission for Protection of the Danube River) 

 "Gender equality is a huge topic in the water sector, in many countries I have the strong feeling the more female power would significantly improve our steps towards clean and sustainable water resources for everybody to enjoy."



Monika JetzinIWD-2017-Monika
Water Events Manager, Trivent, Hungary

"Water resource management is incomplete without a gender perspective because experience has shown that interventions which include the views and input of both men and women generally work better."



IWD-2017-AnjaAnja Potokar
Water Engineer, Limnos, Slovenia


"Throughout the history, women and man had different roles in water and sanitation activities. Women were most often the users (managers of water in households) and men had a role in the public decision-making (e.g. irrigation). Nowadays, gender equality is one of many water management challenges. Common sense tells us that we all benefit from having both man and women involved in all activities and services, but as it is with all changes – they are not easy to adopt and implement, especially in such traditional industry.

Effective and efficient water sector can only be implemented trough collaboration, by involving different stakeholders and by understanding that female contributions are equally important and needed. A shared-vision is needed for a desired future and water sector should keep on supporting actions to give women greater voice." 


Galia BardarskaIWD-2017-Galia
Chair of GWP Bulgaria

"Water and women are the basis of life on earth - water for nature and women to continue the human race. For this reason, women could manage the water sector in the best way for future generations."


IWD-2017-VeronikaDr. Veronika Major
Director of VTK Innosystem Ltd., Hungary

"Water is only a tool for stepping up for Gender Equality, but you have to step it up for yourself!"