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WECF co-organises Expert Group Meeting on Gender, Water and Sanitation

WECF, as part of the UN task force on gender and water, co-organised 2 day expert group meeting on December 1 and 2, at UN headquarters in New York - Defining better indicators for global and national progress on MDG 7

20.12.2008 |Sascha Gabizon




Expert Group Meeting Gender, Water and Sanitation

WECF, as part of the UN task force on gender and water, and together with the United Nations DESA and UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC) in New York and Bonn, and the UN office of the International Year of Sanitation, organised a 2 day expert group meeting on gender, water and sanitation, on December 2 and 3, 2008, at the UN headquarters in New York. 

The Expert Group Meeting (EGM) brought together 25 international experts on monitoring and statistics of gender, water and sanitation, to look at the need for better indicators as a means of measuring progress on the Millennium Development Goal - 7. Key aspects of the EGM included presentation on the existing use of indicators to measure progress on access and use of drinking water and sanitation, and the impact on women and men. Presentations were given by UNICEF and the World Bank WSP, by Gender Water Alliance and by the Surinam Women's Council. 

Sascha Gabizon, Director of Women in Europe for a Common Future, WECF, presented the interest of independent data and the use of indicative and anecdotic evidence, based on the example of work by WECF on monitoring drinking water quality in 12 countries of Central Asia, Caucasus and Eastern Europe. Currently, at a global level, the joint monitoring programme, which monitors the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, is testing one gender-indicator, namely the time women and girls, boys and men, spent on fetching drinking water. 

The EGM proposed a number of other indicators, such as the access to safe sanitation for boys and girls in schools, and the distance of the school toilet to the school. The EGM also proposed to refine the definition of safe school sanitation , for example that there should be toilet paper and/or washing water, soap, cleaning utensils, bins for menstruation management, and that the toilets should be hygienic. 

The EGM proposed to look into the burden on women of bad drinking water quality and bad sanitation, as a cause of diarrhoeal and other diseases, which seem to put a great pressure in particular on women, who in most countries traditionally look after ill family members. An indirect gender indicator could thus be drinking water pollution with  e-coli bacteria, streptococci, nitrates, arsenic and other heavy metals and pesticides.

The programme of the EGM can be downloaded here. 

The report will be available in the coming weeks. 


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WECF co-organises Expert Group Meeting on Gender, Water and Sanitation
WECF, as part of the UN task force on gender and water, co-organised 2 day expert group meeting on December 1 and 2, at UN headquarters in New York - Defining better indicators for global and national progress on MDG 7
20.12.2008 | Sascha Gabizon