A global water crisis is not coming. It is already here, and disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable. Billions already live in water stressed situations and still lack safely managed drinking water and sanitation services. This is set to rise as climate change exacerbates an already dangerous situation with increased extreme events through floods, droughts, and heat waves. The global changes taking place and putting pressure on water are only one side of the problem, however. One of the reasons the world is not on track for SDG 6 is a lack of technical capacity and a shortage in human resources in all key areas of water and sanitation. Within the capacity gap a massive gender gap exists, weakening current and future sustainable service delivery.
The World Bank Utility Survey (2018-19) showed that less than 20% of utility workers were women, but it’s not just an exclusion issue. Several studies also highlight a gender imbalance in technical and leadership positions and showed women leave utilities at a higher rate than men with the largest discrepancy among engineers. Overall, the enabling environment to attract, educate, train, and retain those working in water and sanitation is almost non-existent. Closing the gender gap and addressing imbalances offers an opportunity to bring much needed talent into the water and sanitation sector, but how can this be achieved?
Join us in a collaborative session where we will discuss the barriers to gender equality in the water and sanitation sector, what can be done in the short- and long-term to address these barriers, and learn about innovative approaches, tools and practices.
- Welcome and session introduction (5 min) - Maren Heuvels, Teresa Haeberlein [SuSanA/GIZ]
- Video testimonies (10 min) - 2 videos: one created by SuSana/GIZ and one created by AySA - While watching the videos, participants will be taking notes on specific barriers that emerge from the testimonies contained in the videos
- Presentations of best practices (30 min)
1. Experiences with the gender network in Latina America and the Caribbean (ALOAS) - Eugenia Ghiotto and Estefania Borthiry [AySA]
2. Gender transformative approach: toolkit and its application in Uganda - Jeanne Cole [WaterAid] and Eng. Deneth Ngabirano, Manager [Eastern Umbrella of Water and Sanitation]
3. Tools for diagnosing gender, diversity and inclusion in water and sanitation utilities - Giuliana Ferrero [GWOPA]
- Presentation on barriers and introduction of the group work (10 min) - Maren Heuvels, Teresa Haeberlein [SuSanA/GIZ]
- Group work possible solutions (30 min)
- Closing (5 min)