Role of Women and Youth in Water Security and inclusive growth

India Water Partnership (IWP) facilitated a Panel Discussion on ‘Role of Women and Youth in Water Security and inclusive growth’ on 14 October 2017 at Vigyan Bhavan during 5th India Water Week 2017 held New Delhi, India.

The session was Chaired by Dr Ravinder Kaur, Principle Scientist, Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi. The Co-Chairs included Dr Veena Khanduri, Executive Secretary-cum-Country Coordinator, IWP and Shri S. K. Sharma, Ex- Member CGWB and Advisor (Ground Water) WAPCOS Limited. In concluding the session, the panel submitted these key recommendations to India Water Week 2017 Secretariat.

  • Strengthening institutional mechanism in the rural water sector to increase and incentivise women’s participation and leadership in rural water management and governance.
  • Developing and supporting women's groups for undertaking water sector programmes at the Gram Panchayat level, and incorporating specific targets and budgets for the same in rural development plans.
  • Enhancing technical capacity of rural woman and youth thereby creating a cadre of “Women and youth tech-preneurs” at Gram Panchayat level in the water sector.
  • Creating a network of technically-able women at the national level to advocate and facilitate gender sensitive policies and technology adoption in the water sector.
  • Developing and delivering water literacy programmes with emphasis on behavioural change communication.

Concept Note: Role of Women and Youth in Water Security and Inclusive Growth (PD-11)

As primary providers, managers and users of water, women and youth are uniquely positioned to help in driving productive changes in the water security scenario with their original contributions in designs and maintenance of water systems, water distribution and policymaking. However, in the present scenario, it is important to think that what can be done to increase involvement of women and youth in water management and how can stakeholders better leverage the expertise and market intelligence of women and youth to restructure water management and influence household, agricultural and industrial water consumption patterns.​

Despite known benefits of this type of involvement, improved technologies, renewed vigour from international donors and new high-profile supporters, the vast majority of this set of world’s population  are yet to fully embrace this fight for water security.

In Indian scenario, it has been unequivocally acknowledged that the continued decline in water security or the availability of safe, reliable water as both a commodity and a natural resource presents an immense risk to poverty reduction and sustainable development in the coming decades. Without involving the women and youth in a big way, it may not be possible to come out of that absolute water scarcity scenario  in coming future. In this session, in India Water Week, we need to come up with strategies for adopting the ways to provide greater roles to these self help groups, involving them in true managerial skills with full control of water systems and formulate the policies for future.


  • Ms Alka Tomar, Director, Centre for Youth (C4Y), New Delhi  
  • Ms Poonam Sewak, Vice President-Programmes, Safe Water Network, New Delhi
  • Shri Amit Gupta, Chief Engineer, River Development, WAPCOS Ltd.
  • Mr Avdhesh Pratap, Water Law, Management and Constitutional Law Expert
  • Dr M. S. Rathore, Adviser, IWP and Director, Centre for Environment and Development Studies, Jaipur
  • Mr Lalit Mohan Sharma, Director, Adaptive Technologies, SM Sehgal Foundation, Gurugram, Haryana
  • Ms Gargi Banerji, Director, PRAGYA, Gurgugram, Haryana
  • Mr Suresh Patil, Colonel (Retd.) - Participant from Green Thumb, Pune, Maharashtra