UN WWAP UNESCO Project for Gender Sensitive Water Monitoring Assessment and Reporting

The UN World Water Assessment Programme has launched a groundbreaking project to develop and test the collection of key gender-disaggregated water data.

WWAP is developing a priority set of gender-sensitive indicators and a gender-disaggregated data methodology that will then be tested in the field by Member States in different regions.

This project will produce a comprehensive methodology for gender-disaggregated data gathering and will yield the first-ever set of gender-disaggregated data on topics such as women's water empowerment and participation in water-decision making. 

There is universal agreement in international and national policy circles that the collection of gender-disaggregated water indicators is of the utmost importance and priority.  

For years, UN agencies, NGOs, governments, activists, and water experts have been calling for a systematic approach to collecting gender-disaggregated water indicators. This project answers those calls. This ambitious project to disaggregate water data by gender is needed now more than ever: given global commitments to gender equality, and in light of the importance of water as a resource, given the many different  threats to water resources  the world’s policymakers and decision-makers need baseline gender-disaggregated data. 

This project will prove the value of gender-disaggregated data and will provide strong support for the monitoring of current MDGs and post-2015 development goals.  It will:

  • support the SDGs;
  • build capacity for national gender-disaggregation data-gathering projects;
  • demonstrate the value of gender-disaggregated data and make the case (to national leaders and policy-makers) for gender mainstreaming;
  • create baseline knowledge related to water, from which gender progress can later be evaluated;
  • serve as a basis for advocating change towards gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The need is great. A 2013 survey by the UN Statistical Commission reveals that gendered water data is among the least available of national-level indicators :

Percentage of countries “regularly” producing gender-disaggregated statistics on:

  • Mortality         85% (highest)
  • Labour force 83%
  • Education & training 81%
  • Poverty         71%
  • Agriculture 44%
  • Access to sanitation         39%
  • Access to clean water 37% (4th lowest % of 22 indicators)
  • Informal employment 37%
  • Media 15%

45.2% of countries do not produce any gender statistics related to water. 

WWAP’s project  will help countries to change these statistics. 

Project Overview and Phases


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