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TitleMainstreaming gender in integrated water resources management strategies and plans
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsLewis, K
Secondary TitleTechnical brief / GWP
Volumeno. 5
Pagination8 p. : 5 boxes
Date Published2006-01-01
PublisherGlobal Water Partnership (GWP)
Place PublishedStockholm, Sweden
Keywordsdecision making, evaluation, gender, integrated approach, policies, sdiwrm, water resources management

The water sector has been a pioneer in putting gender mainstreaming approaches into place at program level in the area of domestic water supply and sanitation. Water professionals were among the first to realize that community development projects that failed to take into consideration the reality of women’s lives—their roles, responsibilities, sources of power, needs and aspirations—were themselves doomed to failure. This understanding has now to be expanded beyond community water supply and sanitation and has to be moved “upstream” to the development of Integrated Water Resources Management plans and strategies, as called for by the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation and reinforced by the 2005 World Summit.
The development of IWRM strategies and plans presents unique opportunities for enhancing the equal participation, representation, and rights of women in the water sector— and thus for improving the effectiveness and sustainability of those strategies. Gender mainstreaming can improve the degree to which stakeholders are involved in the strategy formulation process, the soundness of the knowledge base, and the effectiveness of monitoring and evaluation.
This brief is designed to provide water professionals with an overview of how to mainstream gender in the development of integrated water resources management strategies and plans. Practical approaches to gender mainstreaming are outlined. While the suggestions do not provide all the answers, they represent a starting point in terms of questions to ask, people and groups to involve, and mechanisms to put into place to increase the likelihood that women will be involved in water management in a meaningful way.

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