Inception meeting of the UN WWAP UNESCO Project for Gender Sensitive Water Monitoring Assessment and Reporting

UN WWAP Secretariat, UNESCO Office for Global Water Assessment, Villa La Colombella (Perugia), Italy,  June 12-13 2014 

To date, the first phase of the project  has been concentrating its actions on the selection of a small number of priority indicators that WWAP will develop and test with its partners. In this regard, members of the Working Group came together for an  inception meeting i n early June, at the headquarters of the WWAP Secretariat, to move this agenda forward. 

The implementation of the first part of the project with the support of the Working Group makes an important contribution in moving gender analysis forward to an explicit focus on transforming gender relations, not just accounting for them; a pivotal way to do this is to develop data priorities that would reveal the ways in which masculinity(ies) and femininity(ies) are constructed and the ways in which they operate in everyday life.

The first day of the inception meeting was devoted to an assessment of an almost 100-indicator long “wish list” of gender-disaggregated water data. The task for the Working Group was to set priority areas within this larger universe of data demand . 

The debate on the priority areas was very lively and included discussions on:

  • the role of women in transboundary water diplomacy and dispute mitigation,
  • the importance of measuring the  unaccounted-for water-related labor,
  • the importance of accounting for women’s participation in water associations and decision making 
  • the multi-dimensionality of the self and the fact that the same person is affected in the way he/she access water depending on : gender, race, ethnicicy, casts, economical class, and many other divides that are rarely grasped by indicators and statistics.
  • the importance of assessing water-related decision making at intra-household and supra-household (public) levels
  • the importance of deliverying a set of indicators readily available for the use of countries, organizations  and development professionals
  • the importance of access to infrastructure and technologies, such as water-saving technologies and irrigation; 
  • the importance of access to water-related training and  to financial and extension services

On the second day the Working Group identified 5 thematic  “clusters” of indicators from which the final selection would be made:

  • Economics of water & Governance
  • Power & Institutions
  • Resources & Services
  • Paradigms & Knowledge:
  • Water security 

The WWAP Secretariat will take the advice of this Working Group meeting, and subsequent consultations, and will determine the final list of priority indicators by late July 2014. The next step of this phase of the project will be to determine the final list of priority indicators, which will be presented during  the incoming international events ( World Water Week 2014, Gender , Water and Development Conference 2014).

Watch interviews with the Working Group members here

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