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AquaFed and Women for Water contributing jointly to OHCHR Gender Equality Report
February 17th, 2016

The Special Rapporteur on water and sanitation to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Prof. Léo Heller, requested input on his proposed report on Gender Equality. AquaFed teamed up with Women for Water Partnership in this task. AquaFed member companies and WfWP member organisations WPLUS (Nepal) and Consam (Colombia) offered valuable input for the recommendations.

AquaFed and WfWP provided two points of view:

(i) equality in service provision in water and sanitation
(ii) equal access to jobs within the water sector

AquaFed and WfWP shed light on gender equality, how to combat stereotypes and about the role of men and women.

The more service provision diverges from full compliance, the greater become the inequalities between women and men. Women suffer more because of their biological needs, role in domestic life and the taboos and cultural biases, common in all societies.

The only sustainable way to ensure gender equality, tackle discrimination and eliminate abuses is to achieve the total satisfaction of the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation for everyone, everywhere and at all times.

To achieve this, our joint recommendations include:
  • Governments to give priority to providing integrated water and sanitation services at all levels (through political commitment and prioritisation in planning, financing and service operation)
  • Public, private companies and CSOs/ CBOs and NGOs like women’s organizations to assist through advocacy and awareness raising and capacity development.
  • Businesses and organisations to apply gender equality policies and staff awareness.
  • Media to spread wider public awareness campaigns on the link between water and women.
  • The collection of disaggregated data on gender, level of income and location (rural, sub-urban-urban).
  • By involving women in formal and semiformal water and sanitation service delivery projects.

AquaFed – The International Federation of Private Water Operators - represents private operators that deliver water and sanitation services for public authorities throughout the world. Part of AquaFed’s role is to link private operators with international stakeholders.

Women for Water Partnership (WfWP) is a unique partnership of women’s organisations and networks, uniting women leadership. All member organisations are rooted in society and are active in the areas of water, sanitation, sustainable development and women’s participation. WfWP positions women as active leaders, partners, experts and agents of change in water. WfWP links day-to-day practice to policy at national and international levels and vice-versa. The organisation is experienced, has a solid track record, has built a large and influential network throughout the world, and will contribute to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with a focus on women and universal access to water for all, for all uses.


Interested to read more? You can download our submission here.