Women remain underrepresented in water resources management

6 January, 2022

A new report by the Global Water Partnership (GWP) and UNEP-DHI (United Nations Environment Programme Centre of Water and Environment), shows progress has been slow in countries meeting gender objectives in their water management policies and plans.

In many developing countries, women are the de facto water decision makers in households. Research suggests that when women are involved in the management of water resources, their communities achieve better economic and environmental benefits. However, in many contexts, management of water is still male-dominated.

Last year, GWP was one of the agencies involved in the data collection to measure the progress on Sustainable Development Goal indicator 6.5.1 – the degree of implementation of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). As part of the survey, carried out in 186 countries, gender-related questions were also asked. To find out more behind the numbers, GWP did further analysis and carried out in-depth interviews in 23 countries. The findings are now available in Advancing towards gender mainstreaming in water resources management.

The report finds that gender and inclusion policies have been developed in many countries. But there is still a gap between policy and practice, and that policies are not always accompanied by concrete action plans, nor are they adequately funded.

  • Download the report here.