17 Jul

The High Level Political Forum (HLPF) side event of 12 July chaired by H.E. Ambassador Katalin Annamária Bogyay, Hungary’s Permanent Representative to the UN addressed the question whether women are meaningfully involved in SDG 6 on water and sanitation in Member States’ national implementation plans for the Sustainable Development Goals.

With the contribution of the former chairperson of the UN Secretary-Generals' Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB), UN-Women and Women and Water Partnership, representatives from South-Africa, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands and the European External Action Service shared their experiences in terms of combining SDGs 5 and 6 and reflected on the way ahead.

 

Agenda 2030 and the SDGs give unique guidance both on women’s empowerment (SDG5) and the importance of water and sanitation (SDG 6) as well as the connection between the two. Recent reports inter alia by the High Level Panel on Water (HLPW), the UN Water synthesis report, the UN Women and Global Water Partnership Action Piece all make the connection and suggest venues for action. The UN Water report explicitly mentions the connection between SDG targets and gender inequality [SDG 5.1, 5.2, 5.4, 5.5] and other inequalities [10.1–10.3]. The reports signal that as countries roll out their national implementation strategies, it is paramount that investments in these and other strategic areas are prioritized. Addressing both SDG 5 and 6 requires a strong emphasis on strategic gender interests and redressing existing inequalities in power and status, not just addressing practical needs.

The HLPF side event of 12 July chaired by H.E. Ambassador Katalin Annamária Bogyay, Hungary’s Permanent Representative to the UN addressed the question whether women are meaningfully involved in implementing SDG 6 on water and sanitation in Member States’ national implementation plans for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through discussing the interlinkages of SDG 5 and 6.

Ms Uschi Eid, former chairperson of the UN Secretary-Generals' Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB) gave a keynote speech on the results of the review of the voluntary national reports about the role of women in the implementation of SDG 6 and water related targets.

Member States shared their experiences around the integration of women as well as on the combined implementation of SDG 5 and 6. H.E. Ms Pamela Tshwete, Deputy Minister of South-Africa for Water and Sanitation, Ms Mina Guli, Australia’s lead water advocate and famous ultra-runner, Mr Thomas Stratenwerth, Germany’s Water Director, Mr Niels Vlaanderen, Coordinator for International Water Affairs and Ms Carmen Marques Ruiz, Policy Coordinator for Environment and Water in the European External Action Service enriched the discussion.

Ms Lesha Witmer from the Women for Water Partnership Steering Committee talked about the state of affairs of recent reports and tools, followed by an exchange moderated by Ms Seemin Qayum from UN Women. Ms Mariet Verhoef-Cohen, President of Women for Water Partnership closed the event by summarizing the findings as recommendations to the HLPF.

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