10.05.2019 - Natural Sciences Sector

Thirsty for change: Promoting a gender-responsive approach to achieve water security

©UNESCO WWAP

On 13-14 May, the UNESCO International Water Conference ‘Leveraging intersectorality for sustainable water security and peace’ will take place at UNESCO HQ, Paris.

In this framewrok, WWAP will organize the panel ‘Thirsty for change: Promoting a gender-responsive approach to achieve water security’ from 15.30 to 17.00, in Room II, on 13 May. This panel will facilitate a multidisciplinary discussion on advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment in the water realm to achieve the 2030 Agenda through evidence-based gender-transformative water policies and management.

It is widely recognized in the international arena that gender equality is an enabler and accelerator for all the SDGs, including the water-related objective and its targets. Women and men have an equal stake in water management, yet inequalities persist with regards to who participates in, contributes to and benefits from water resources management worldwide.

Women have a key role in the provision and conservation of water, and make up nearly half of the global population involved in agriculture and food production, hence playing a relevant, but often invisible, role in the economic development. While they are often excluded from decision-making processes related to water governance, women tend to disproportionally bear the domestic burden related to water and to be greatly affected by water scarcity and pollution. Unequal access to decision-making and management of water resources often translates into a missed empowerment opportunity for women and girls worldwide.

Through the exchange of good practices and lessons learned, this session will discuss engendering water from a variety of thematic and geographical perspectives, including – but not limited to – education, governance and decision making, traditional knowledge, economic empowerment, and human right to water.

The panel will discuss the potential to gender-mainstream policy-making processes on water resources and achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment through scientific evidence, including the application of gender-responsive indicators and sex-disaggregated water data, which are key to advancing environmental sustainability, eradicating poverty, and achieving human rights for all.

In line with this, WWAP presents the 'Toolkit on Sex-disaggregated Water Data’, which aims to tackle the information gap on water and gender, which currently forms a major obstacle to the production of scientific evidence of gender inequality. Inspired by the 2030 Agenda and its interconnected SDGs, as well as incorporating lessons learnt from field testing, the Toolkit is designed to help decision makers adopt data-driven, gender-transformative water policies and reach those left behind.

More on the UNESCO International Water Conference




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