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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Women

Intervention by Women Major Group ? CSD13 - 3 March 2004, afternoon
We would like to talk about gender-mainstreaming:
The principle of women as participants in the CSD process and the
acknowledgment of women as key actors in the use and management of
water, sanitation and human settlements now needs to be put into practice.
We need concrete ways to have women participating in their own right in the
CSD process and beyond.
Instrumental in gender-mainstreaming in environment in general and in
water, sanitation and human settlements in particular, is working with
women?s organizations at all levels. In preparing for the meeting on
Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) UNEP and WEDO facilitated
an online discussion on Women and the Environment. We can recommend
you to learn lessons from that discussion. The online discussion was very
lively, and many women?s organizations shared their experiences and
visions in environmental areas. There is a lot of expertise available not only
on the other side of this corridor in the CSW: we have to involve such
gender expertise in our environmental organisations and initiatives. There is
an urgent need to involve more professional and local women in physical
planning, water and sanitation sectors: but also here the glass ceiling still
Most of all we need political will for real gender mainstreaming within our
own institutions. There are many instruments available: gender-analyses,
sex-disaggregated data, close monitoring and evaluation, learning lessons
from what we have learned until now. Including a gender focus in the
Integrated Water Resources Management Plans and in MDG7 activities and
reporting. It particularly means ensuring that the activities we undertake in
the three areas (w/s/hs) benefit local women on the ground.
UNEP?s Governing Council just last week has adopted a decision on gender
equality and environment. CSD should learn lessons from that, and at least
put ?women and water? as a specific issue on the agenda of CSD13.