AquaFed is proud to promote a new landmark report "With Women, Better Results in Water Management", jointly published by Women for Water and GIZ.
“With Women Better Results in Water Management”, is the title of a recent publication of Women for Water Partnership (WfWP). The study was funded by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Read the abstract and rationale here.
The reason behind initiating this study was that an earlier study on the impact of women’s participation showed that in some corners of the private sector, it is more common to measure the impact of women in decision-making positions and showing positive results – contrary to the public sector. Companies with higher numbers of women in leadership teams outperform those with fewer women, often by 30%. Moreover, leadership styles more frequently used by women are the most effective in addressing the global challenges of the future and critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
AquaFed and its members will continue to work with WFWP and others on this major topic, as in the past.
The lessons of the literature review, the experiences of the members of WfWP and the thirteen case studies, lead to the following five guidelines to stimulate and facilitate the inclusion of more women in decision-making processes in the water sector:
- Analyse a situation to understand how many men and women are involved, how and where, what are the issues of the women in a specific context (women are not one group, but heterogenous), what are the stereotypes at play, and how much resources are available for men and women. It is not a one-time action. During all phases it remains important to continue to listen to women to identify problems and design solutions.
- Translate the analysis into a plan with clear objectives, measurable targets, and a sound budget: a 40-40 balance between men and women is such a target, leaving 20% free. Involve men and especially women in drafting a plan and in the decision-making process around the plan and the budget.
- Make sure the top level is committed, remains committed and that their messages are consistent. Do not leave other layers of management behind and develop clear accountability mechanisms. Moreover, organise support for the implementors to be able to translate policy into practice for example by introducing focal points, ambassadors or help with training.
- Create the conditions for women to be included and remain included, such as by changing HR policies and regulations, organising leadership courses or mentor programmes to encourage women to apply for decision-making positions, giving access to women for vocational training or accepting and certifying already acquired skills. Moreover, by addressing stereotypes and unconscious bias regularly to change mindsets, by ensuring that there are facilities for women such as toilets, appropriate equipment and clothing, breastfeeding spaces, access to ICT and transport, by taking action against sexual violence.
- To keep abreast with the developments, develop a monitoring system which provides both quantitative and qualitative sex-disaggregated data. Analyse the data regularly to enable learning and introduce necessary adaptations to plan and budget. Next, genderresponsive budgeting helps to gain more insights between inputs and results.