Publication: Promotion of women’s leadership in water management
The brief “Empower a Woman with Water and She Can Change Her City” was recently published by the multi-stakeholder partnership (MSP) Cities Alliance. It provides an overview of the nexus between gender inequality and water scarcity in the MENA region.
The MSP Cities Alliance published its brief Empower a Woman with Water and She Can Change Her City. The brief is on the nexus between water scarcity and gender inequality and makes recommendations on how to promote and assure women’s leadership in water management. Apart from the overall analysis, experts share their views on Morocco, Tunisia, Palestine and Egypt in case studies.
The Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) region is one of the regions worldwide that is increasingly affected by water scarcity. Additionally, pre-existing factors such as conflict, political and social unrest, displacement, and weak governance further complicate the situation in the respective countries. As cities in the region have grown fast and continue to grow, the resulting increased demand for water cannot be met. Furthermore, tourism and agricultural activities caused an overexploitation of groundwater. Additionally, the risk of natural disasters has significantly increased, and water mismanagement has further destabilized the region.
Due to their social roles and responsibilities, such as securing food, fetching water and supplying livelihoods, women are among the worst affected by water-related insecurity and scarcity. Despite their important role in water-related issues, their possibilities to actively participate in water management remain limited. Important positions in the water management sector in the MENA region are predominantly occupied by men. Therefore, it is argued that women should be included in the decision-making processes in various positions like policymakers, leading figures or head of projects. In the brief, several grassroot initiatives are mentioned that enable women to play a role in water management. Apart from that, governments, institutions and organizations should keep various points in mind to make women and their needs visible, such as the collection of sex-disaggregated data on water access and usage.
The MSP Cities Alliance was founded in 1999 to fight urban poverty and to support cities on their path towards sustainable development.