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Symposium 2009

Solution for Preparing for the Blue Revolution

The Challenge

Water shortages are cropping up around the world – from Australia to South Africa, from Brazil to the Sahel. Many of the world’s mightiest rivers run dry before reaching the sea. Perhaps half th ...

Water shortages are cropping up around the world – from Australia to South Africa, from Brazil to the Sahel. Many of the world’s mightiest rivers run dry before reaching the sea. Perhaps half the world’s wetlands have been damaged or destroyed in the past century as salt water has displaced fresh water. These facts are striking, in view of the fact that the world’s population withdraws less than a tenth of the water that falls to the ground and that – unlike our fossil fuels – the world’s water supplies cannot be used up.

Facilitate women’s access to water and enhance their participation in the development and implementation of water management strategies in poor countries.

Women play a crucial role in water management in poor countries. Because of the traditional division of domestic labor, they are pivotal in the provision, management, and safeguarding of water. In rural Africa, for example, women spend much of the day fetching water, an exhausting and often dangerous task that deprives them of the chance to work and learn. Moreover, women are the main victims of unsafe water and poor sanitation. The education of girls suffers due to a lack of separate toilets at school and easy access to safe water.

Facilitating women’s access to safe water is crucial to counteracting the interconnected problems of illness, child mortality, and low productivity in poor countries. It could contribute to improved education levels and development in those countries.

But women also need to be actively involved in the development and implementation of water management projects. Women need to be equally involved in decision-making and water resource management to avoid inequalities—for example, in the division of domestic labor—and to support their social inclusion within communities.

The implementation of water management projects will benefit from participatory, gender-sensitive approaches, which take account of the differing but interdependent needs of men and women at household and community levels.

    Implemen- tations

    Implementation
    Symposium 2009

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