Women in Water diplomacy as key to economic empowerment

The 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61), took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from the 13th to 24th March, 2017. It is one of the largest annual gathering of global leaders, NGOs, private sectors, United Nations partners and activists around the world. As a professional in the water sector, Ms Amrita Gautam of the ITT, TH Köln joined the commission and reports for the WSCC 2017.

This year, the session focused on the theme of “Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work” where a parallel event named “Women in Water diplomacy as key to economic empowerment” was hosted by Soroptimist International (SI) and Women for Water Partnership (WfWP) together with its member organizations and in collaboration with the Mission of Brazil to the United Nations, headed by Mauro Vieira, UN Permanent Representative of Brazil, Hungarian Ambassador HE Mrs Katalin Bogyay, and Senior Consultant (Water and Sanitation Expert) from UN-Water Mrs Leanne Burney.

As the event Chair, Mariet Verhoef-Cohen, President of Women for Water Partnership and President-Elect of Soroptimist International, delivered a keynote speech stating:

“Women traditionally care for and protect the water resources. In modern times their knowledge is not acknowledged and is lost. Women for Water Partnership, Soroptimist International and Business and Professional Women, have taken it upon ourselves to draw attention to the important role women play as experts, agents of change and partners in achieving equal universal access to water and sanitation. We are on a mission to secure the combined implementation of SDG 5 and 6.”

During the panelists’ statement round, Leanne Burney of UN Water provided an interesting presentation where she highlighted the lack of sex-disaggregated data as major obstacle to “the production of scientific evidence on gender-related inequalities in the water realm:

“45.2% of countries do not produce any gender statistics related to water. We need to create a gender baseline knowledge related to water and a global standard for gender sensitive water monitoring.”

For more information visit www.womenforwater.org

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