United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM)

UNIFEM South Asia Office

Economic Security and Rights Programme


UNIFEM’s efforts to support women’s economic security and rights have focused on several key areas:

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 UNIFEM in coordination with SASTAC (South Asia Technical      Advisory Committee) had helped women’s groups to give visibility to gender and water issues in 1999 and 2000. It had facilitated the engendering of the Water Vision document and Framework for Action for South Asia, the countries involved being Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. During the Second World Water Forum, gender sessions were organized, in which UNIFEM assisted in taking        women’s voices to the Forum. It pledged to carry on the networking process in the region, as women participants felt that gender issues were not prominent in the mainstream discussion and that there was a need for women and water networks in South Asia. The present initiatives are efforts to mainstream the FFA and Water Vision Document, to form women and water networks and to document best practices.


    Gender and Water:

A South Asia perspective has been developed regarding women’s role and that of women’s organizations, in the planning, development and management of water by using gender analysis tools. Meetings of women and women’s organizations have been organized on the basis of area water partnerships, country water partnerships and regional water partnerships, involving in turn the Global Water Partnership. In South Asia, women and water networks are being formed at national and regional levels. In India, seminars have been organized in the North Zone in India, at Ahmedabad, Gujarat and in the South Zone, at Trissur, Kerala. They have contributed towards the identification of key water issues as well as the strategies needed to address them. A Plan of Action has been developed at national level meetings to implement defined activities and Best Practices of models of women and water success stories are being documented. Capacity building of women in the water sector is being supported through sharing of information and models of successful women’s groups in the sector.