Women’s central role in the provision, management and safeguarding of water has been reiterated in several international conferences and policy statements since the 1970s. In most countries in South Asia, recent reforms in the domestic water supply programmes have provided space for women to participate in community water management institutions through quotas. Yet to move beyond numbers and empower women to influence water governance, capacity building for both men and women is required so that they understand better how to mainstream gender in their activities. To further this endeavour, SaciWaters, has been holding a series of training workshop on Gender, Water and Equity, the latest being hosted by the Nepal Engineering College from 14-18 June in Kathmandu. The discussions identified many entry points where gender mainstreaming could improve achievement of water management and human development objectives. One example used to illustrate this was how improved transparency and accountability has often resulted from opening up space for women’s participation in decision making. It was also shown that understanding the different vulnerabilities of men, women and children greatly improved disaster risk management.
The content was divided into four themes viz., Gender and Equity – concepts & analytical frameworks; Water, IWRM and Equity; Policy Reviews and Sectoral Analysis from a Gender Perspective; and Sanitation and Menstrual Hygiene. Based on the experiences from the training series, a training handbook on Gender, Water and Equity (GWE) will be developed. The course was attended by participants from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Uzbekistan. SaciWATERs drew from wide partnership to deliver the course. It was a joint effort in finance, organisation, and content design from Cap-Net, Society for Promoting Participative Ecosystem Management (SOPPECOM), Gender and Water Alliance (GWA) and Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), UN-HABITAT and Nepal Engineering College For more information contact Dr. Anjal Prakash at firstname.lastname@example.org.