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Round-Table and Training Seminar

News author: Małgorzata Tkacz-Janik
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2006-10-24 15:09:15 / News read 2896 reading
“Setting Up Strategies for Strengthening Gender Integration in Water Management” (Contribution to D.6-3.1a, M. 6.3-1), Tuesday 7 November – Wednesday 8 November 2006, Location: Qubus Hotel Prestige Katowice, ul. Uniwersytecka 1340-007 Katowice.

Within the framework of the principles of IWRM governments and the international community have made commitments to support equality between women and men and to use a gender perspective in all programmes and projects, including those related to water and the environment.

Specific commitments include:
1. The Dublin Statement (1992), endorsed by over 100 countries, recognises that women play a central part in the provision, management, and safeguarding of water resources. It recognises the pivotal role of women as providers and users of water and guardians of the living environment.

2. Principle 20 of the Rio Declaration (1992) states, “Women have a vital role in environmental management and development. Their full participation is therefore essential to achieve sustainable development”. Agenda 21 (1992) contains a chapter on women and sustainable development (Chapter 24) and a chapter on water management (chapter 18).

3. The Beijing Platform for Action (1995) highlighted environmental issues as one critical area of concern - “gender inequalities in the management and safeguarding of natural resources and in the safeguarding of the environment”. Three strategic objectives were agreed: (1) To involve women actively in environmental decision making at all levels; (2) To integrate gender concerns and perspectives in policies and programmes for sustainable development; and (3) To strengthen or establish mechanisms to assess the impact of development and environmental policies on women.

4. The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), para 25(a), includes agreement by governments to: “… support capacity-building for water and sanitation infrastructure and services development, ensuring that such infrastructure and services meet the needs of the poor and are gender-sensitive.”

5. In December 2003 the General Assembly proclaimed (resolution 58/217), the period 2005 to 2015 as the International Decade for Action, ‘Water for Life’, and called for a focus on the implementation of water-related programmes and projects, “whilst striving to ensure women’s participation and involvement in water-related development efforts …”.

6. The Millennium Development Goals, which have the same time frame as the ‘Water for Life’ Decade, include 2015 targets on gender equality and empowerment of women, as well as on safe water and sanitation.

Within this framework Poland adopted the second National Environment Policy in 1992 reflecting all international conditions: European Agreement (1991), Rio Declaration and Agenda 21, OECD Membership, NATO membership and bilateral commitments. The main principles underlying the Policy was ecological safety and the quality and durability of natural resources and at the same time assuring equal access to them. In 2000 Poland adopted Poland 2025 Long-term Sustainable Development which places the principles of sustainable development as the most important rule in social and economic development of the country. Other important acts in accordance with Agenda 21 and European Union law are: The Environmental Protection Law, The Water Law Act, Access of Information Law, One of the most important achievements in Poland today is the change of public ecological awareness and public participation in the decision-making process. Polish public opinion expresses strong support for equal rights for women and men in public and professional life (see: “Gender and Economic Opportunities in Poland: Has Transition Left Women Behind”. The World Bank Report no. 29205, March 2004). Poland’s legal system provides equal treatment for women and men in access to work, professional training and promotion as well as in equal working conditions.

This 2-days’ round-table and training seminar aims at providing professional men and women, water managers, researchers and decision-makers in general with an understanding of gender aspects in water management, with the aim to learn to strategise and promote the integration of gender in water management for more efficiency, effectiveness, equity and sustainability in the Silesia Region, Poland.The course, which will consist of interactive lectures, working groups and plenary participatory sessions, will cover the following topics:
• EU Project AquaStress, and the present practice of gender mainstreaming
• national initiatives and regional projects on gender in Poland
• gender policy and regulatory framework in Poland
• criteria and indicators to assess gender integration
• overview and state of the art of gender integration in water management in the various water sectors: for food, for people and for the environment
• current constraints and options in gender and water management
• analysis and evaluation of past experiences and good practice
• social, economic, institutional, environmental concerns linked to gender in water management
• the GEWAMED project: an EU Euro-Mediterranean initiative to strengthen gender networks at national and regional scale
• Gender and Water Alliance (GWA), a global network for mainstreaming gender in IWRM.

Towards the end of the seminar it is anticipated that

1. participants’ understanding of gender in IWRM in general as well as in the Polish context is enhanced;
2. a number of conclusions and recommendations for future actions and strategies for strengthening women’s position in water management are prepared;
3. a core group of interested parties is set up for the further development and implementation of strategies.

The course is designed for local, regional and national actors (female and male) and Stake Holders that have a keen interest is setting up strategies for the promotion and strengthening of the integration of gender aspects in water management in the Silesia Region in specific and in Poland in general.

Relevant stakeholders are:
- water professionals and water managers
- researchers; university associates
- decision-makers locally, regionally, and nationally
- NGOs and associations
- Other parties with interest in understanding and promoting the issue
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Tytuł informacji: Round-Table and Training Seminar
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