grassroots action by women is revolutionising the way water
resources are being managed
International Women’s Day, GWP highlights how women around the
world are battling gender inequality to take back control of
their water resources.
8 March 2022 – Cindy Lorena Ospina Gallego admits
her work is dangerous. She is not a soldier. She is not a stunt
performer. She is a young person fighting for women to have
access to water and sanitation in Las Colonias, Colombia – and
that puts her at risk.
is no agenda for gender; our regulations, especially for water
and sanitation, are gender blind,” Cindy Lorena Ospina Gallego
said. “In a country like Colombia, environmental and human rights
activists take big risks and are killed on a regular basis.”
this, Cindy has witnessed significant progress. Since forming the
ECOLONIAS women’s collective in 2018, there have not only been
improvements to the way water is managed but also new enterprises
have been set up – run by women – to produce flowers, earthworms,
is one of a range of grassroots success stories highlighted in a multimedia publication
by the Global Water Partnership (GWP), released to coincide with
International Women’s Day on Tuesday, 8 March. The
publication, Gender Equality in Water Governance: 10 Stories of
Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships, celebrates the way
women in all corners of the globe are continuing to fight for
inclusion in water resources management.
tremendous progress on the ground, men still hold the power when
it comes to top-level decision-making. A recent report released
by GWP shows that more than 80 of the 168 countries surveyed had
limited or non-existent gender objectives in their water
management policies and plans.
Debevec, Senior Gender and Social Inclusion Specialist at GWP,
says much more needs to be done to remove barriers to meaningful
participation of women in water resources management.
projects must fully commit to undertaking a gender analysis of
the local water management situation from the outset of their
activity, so that all opportunities for and barriers to women’s
participation are identified and addressed,” she explained.
women are involved in the management of water resources, research
shows that the results are better for everyone – economically,
socially, and environmentally.”
ten stories featured here demonstrate the power of women-led and
women-focused multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSPs) for fostering
a more inclusive, equal, and water-secure world. These stories
are part of GWP’s Water ChangeMaker
a global competition which identifies and celebrates the work of
groups and organisations that build water and climate resilience.