The date was chosen to represent a symbolic bridge between the celebrations of the International Women’s Day on March 8th, and the World Water Day on March 22nd, and aiming to emphasise that “Valuing Water” (the 2021 theme for World Water Day), cannot be fully achieved without taking into consideration the value of water to women, and the 2021 International Women’s Day theme of “Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”.
The virtual launching event is co-organised by the Global Water Partnership (GWP-Med) and the Geneva Water Hub, within the framework of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Water Policy Framework for Actions 2030, and has the threefold objective to:
- Launch the publication of the Comparative Study;
- Briefly present the Study’s key findings and share the main components of the Initiative’s Action Plan for 2021;
- Receive reflections from prominent experts, foster synergies and explore operational linkages with leading regional international organisations and development partners.
The 2-hour event (13:00-15:00 CET) will develop over three segments, matching the three objectives: a welcoming part by the co-organising partners; a presentation and discussion on the key findings of the Comparative Study; and a panel among development partners and relevant organisations, reflecting on the theme and exploring options for operational synergies. During the event, simultaneous interpretation will be available in English/French/Arabic.
The detailed Agenda will be uploaded and circulated shortly.
The publication on Empowering Women in Water Diplomacy in the Middle East and North Africa: A Comparative Study of Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and Palestine will be shared during the Launching Event.
For further information or clarifications please contact Dr. Anthi Brouma, Deputy Regional Coordinator, GWP-Med (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Ms. Natasha Carmi, Lead Water Advisor, Geneva Water Hub (email@example.com).
Please register here:
Some information about the Comparative Study
The Comparative Study on Empowering Women in Water Diplomacy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region has been elaborated with the aim to identify the similarities and the differences in the challenges female water experts face across the five countries (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine), and to identify the capacity building needs in terms of the various skills of a 21st century water diplomat.
The Comparative Study responds to the effort to strengthen the role of women in water diplomacy related decision-making, which continues being underestimated despite the acknowledged essential role of women in peacebuilding, conflict management and sustaining security, as reaffirmed by the landmark United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (adopted on 31st October 2000) and by the eight resolutions on the issue adopted thereafter.
The untapped potential of brilliant girls and women is a great loss, both for women themselves and for the society as a whole. Women empowerment starts with access to safe water and gender responsive sanitation so that they are in a position to act as experts, partners, agents and leaders of change, including on water cooperation given the strong linkages among water, security and peace and the potential of water as an instrument for peace. Further emphasis on encouraging and capacitating women to take up such positions has strong merits that are yet to be explored.
Aiming to contribute to this direction, the Global Water Partnership – Mediterranean (GWP-Med) and the Geneva Water Hub joined forces at the beginning of 2020 and initiated a collaboration on the role of Women in Water Diplomacy with emphasis on the Middle East and North Africa region. The collaboration has taken the form of technical/ mapping work on the current status and challenges facing women in water diplomacy/ transboundary water cooperation settings, capitalising on the methodology used for a similar mapping exercise undertaken in 2018 in Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine. The current effort has reviewed and updated the work in the three countries and expanded the mapping to the Maghreb sub-region by including the cases of Egypt and Morocco.
The Comparative Study was financially supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) in the framework of the “Making Water Cooperation happen in the Mediterranean” Project, aka Water Matchmaker Project, and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
Through targeted outreach and dissemination activities, the analytical work has evolved into an Initiative aiming to support and strengthen the role of women involved in water diplomacy in the MENA region. The Initiative is led by the 6 co-authors of the Comparative Study, with the institutional co-ordination and support of GWP-Med and the Geneva Water Hub.