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14 Aug 2020 | Indus Basin Initiative

Gender integration in Afghan water resource management

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Using hands-on and multi-pronged approach to mainstream gender issues

Gender integration in Afghan water resource management

While Afghanistan’s 2009 Water Law grants equitable rights to water for all, many women cannot exercise that right equally since questions of availability, accessibility, affordability, and safety emerge. As water demand increases – particularly during periods of water stress and drought – gendered considerations become all the more important to ensure that development, use and management of water is equitable.

In building capacity for gender equality among water resource management professionals in Afghanistan, we sought to combine gender concepts and practical considerations through a multi-pronged approach with our partner ministries and agencies, beginning with sensitisation and awareness sessions and following up with in-depth capacity building. Hands-on training with tools and methods for integrating gender in plans and activities helped to make the concepts more concrete. Including issues of gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) in the flagship “Multiscale Integrated River Basin Management Resource Book” and adding focused GESI sessions in related trainings have helped partners in Afghanistan to see the benefits of involving women professionals and focusing on gender in water resource management.

A targeted gender-focused research project undertaken by our gender team and colleagues in our Strengthening Water Resources Management in Afghanistan (SWaRMA) initiative aimed to identify knowledge and data gaps on gender related vulnerabilities and inequalities with the objective that government partners will be able to address these gaps through implementing an integrated gender approach. As a sustainability measure, we also facilitated a link between the Kabul University Women’s Studies Department and the ministries on a focused research project and on longer-term support to the government on gender integration across sectors.

While Afghanistan’s 2009 Water Law grants equitable rights to water for all, many women cannot exercise that right equally since questions of availability, accessibility, affordability, and safety emerge.

Using hands-on and multi-pronged approach to mainstream gender issues

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