8 March 2023. To celebrate the International Women’s Day, the UfM seeks to recognise the paramount role of women in the water sector, and highlight the need to ensure that the women’s role is at the heart of the UfM priorities and in promoting initiatives supporting women in the Mediterranean region and beyond.
Gender equality is key to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As “being off the track to achieve the SDGs by 2030” is a looming reality, the UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) launched a Call for Action (CfA) to accelerate the achievement of gender equality in the water domain, together with a Multi-stakeholder Coalition composed by Member States institutions, UN agencies, international and regional organizations, NGOs, private sector and civil society. The Union for the Mediterranean is part of this Multi-stakeholder Coalition and is organising a side-event ‘Supporting gender equality in the Water Action Agenda with Global Multi-stakeholder effort’ in the UN 2023 Water Conference, that will be celebrated between 22 and 24 March 2023.
The Call for Action asks decision-makers, political leaders, governors, policy-makers, financers, CEOs and other relevant actors to accelerate concrete actions towards the achievement of water access to all without discrimination; promoting women’s leadership in water management and governance; protecting women’s water rights and applying gender-equal financing; narrowing the gender gap between policy and practice; prioritizing the collection of sex-disaggregated water data; and counter-fighting norms and stereotypes that disadvantage women and girls.
At a regional level, GWP-Med launched a publication on Empowering Women in Water Diplomacy in the Middle East and North Africa, a unique publication on this theme in the MENA and Mediterranean region. This initiative aims at promoting more women in leadership and decision-making positions in the water diplomacy to assert their role in peace building and identifying capacity building needs in terms of the various skills of a 21st century water diplomat. The initiative also contributes to the Union for the Mediterranean Water Agenda.
To celebrate the International Women’s Day, the UfM is paying tribute to these initiatives and shedding light on their potential impacts to raise the voice of women and to engage them more actively in the water domain to not only advance the achievement of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development but also to ensure a fair and sound water governance.