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Gender and Water

This guide provides a collection of resources that identify and address key gender issues in the water sector including water supply infrastructure and management, sanitation and hygiene, and climate change.

In a world where water scarcity, climate change, disasters and conflicts are affecting access to safe and sustainable water resources, women and girls can be especially vulnerable. In many developing countries women and girls are responsible for collecting and using water for purposes including sanitation and health, such as through the production of food, care of animals, cleaning and waste disposal. However it is often men who make decisions about water resources management and development at both local and national levels. Even though women have a wealth of knowledge on the subject, it is often overlooked in the formulation of projects due to their lack of inclusion in water governance processes.

A general recommendation that emerges across the resources is that using a gender analysis in crucial in understanding the differential impact water focused policies, programmes and projects have on women, men, boys and girls. It is then vital to incorporate these views in planning and design stage of any water focused project or policy, and following on from this, for the direct involvement of both women and men at all levels of water governance and management.

Gender, Water and Sanitation: A Policy Brief
UN-Water 2006
This policy brief explores the issue of water management while looking at the roles and responsibilities often held by women within the community. It was developed by the Inter-agency Task Force on Gender and Water (GWTF) and emphasis...
Gender and community mobilisation for urban water infrastructure investment in Southern Nigeria
C. Acey / Taylor and Francis Group 2010
In the Nigerian cities of Lagos and Benin City, the 2006 census reported that just 26% and 5% of households had access to treated piped water respectively, with a significant informal water delivery sector working alongside, or in pla...
Effective gender mainstreaming in water management for sustainable livelihoods: from guidelines to practice.
M. Zwarteveen 2006
This paper, part of the Both ENDS Working Paper Series, synthesises and summarises the main findings of the collaborative project Effective gender mainstreaming in water management for sustainable livelihoods: From guidelines to pract...
Gender and Climate Change – Case Study of Oko Agbon Odooyi Community
T. Ngozi Akosa; A. Oluyide / Centre for 21st Century Issues 2010
What are the gender implications of poverty, unemployment and the absence of basic infrastructure in the face of climate change, and what should governments be doing to improve the situation? This paper considers the case of Oko Agbon...
For her it's the big issue: putting women at the centre of water supply, sanitation and hygiene.
J. Fisher / Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council 2006
Lack of basic sanitation and safe water is a major issue for women and girls who live in poor and overcrowded areas. This joint undertaking by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) and the Water, Engineering an...
Gender in Water and Sanitation
R. Rop / UNDP - World Bank Water and Sanitation Program 2010
This working paper draws attention to approaches for redressing gender inequality in the water and sanitation sector and the importance of taking a gendered approach. Throughout, there are clearly signposted examples of good practice ...