Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development / UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme / Women for Water Partnership

Toward Women-Inclusive Water Governance

Monday 28 August | 14.00-15.30 | Room: FH 300
Women voting - Women for Water Partnership

~~Women’s leadership in the water sector matters. The form that their leadership takes is critical and it can only be effective if women are empowered to shape and influence change. Yet at present, there is a lack of evidence on women who are playing that important and influential role in water governance. What happens if women are included in decision-making processes on design, budget allocations, planning, implementation and monitoring? Are we able to provide evidence that having more women in water governance leads to better decisions to achieve equitable access to water?

The event will kick-off a joint project by the Women for Water Partnership, OECD and UNESCO WWAP on assessing the impact of women's involvement in water governance, building on current research such as on gender-budget analysis and OECD water governance indicators. Participants will then take part in interactive discussions to share their views and insights on how to foster women engagement in water governance. Selected panellists from the Netherlands, Tanzania and Scotland will introduce practical experiences and concrete actions in the public and private sectors to provide women with the opportunities and avenues to be agents of change in the water sector. 

Gold standard events are committed to ensure the gender balance in speakers/panellists and young professional representation in the session.


Introductory remarks: The need to change the Gender Conversation in Water Governance
Lesha Witmer
, WfWP 

Women in the global water agenda, gender sensitive reporting and monitoring and the SDGs
Michela Miletto, UNESCO-WWAP (tbc) 

A joint project to assess the impact of women’s involvement in water governance
Delphine Clavreul, OECD (tbc) 

Zoom on practical experiences of women-inclusive water governance:

  • Netherlands: Lida Schelwald, Zuiderzeeland Water Authority
  • Tanzania: Lilian Liundi, Tanzania Gender Networking Programme
  • Scotland: (tbc)

Group discussion: 

  • What evidence is needed to assess women’s contribution to water policy making and implementation?
  • What are lessons learned from participants’ experience on involving women and/or being involved as women in water governance?

A short survey will be circulated during the session to capture participants’ views on the topic, and inputs collected will feed the project

Conclusions & next steps

The session will conclude with key messages and guidance on how to trigger concrete actions in the public and private sectors to provide women with the opportunities and avenues to be agents of change in the water sector.

15:30 Close of Session