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World Water Forum Dakar 2022: the women in WASH want to make their voices heard

Wednesday, 24 November 2021
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The African Water Association (AfWA) women's networks, organized on November 24, 2021 the 2nd webinar for professionals women in the water sector as a prelude to the 9th World Water Forum Dakar 2022. This webinar was chaired by the Hon.  Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources of Ghana.

This online Women’s Forum was a means of publicizing the upcoming World Water Forum and mobilization women networks both within and outside of AfWA to actively and strategically participate in the forum.

"You play a key role in the sector as it moves towards achieving SDGs 6. You are a pride for our association" said Mr. Sylvain Usher, Executive Director of AfWA in his speech. According to him, the Association has understood the stakes so well, that it gives a prominent place to gender promotion. ‘’ Women are often tasked with fetching water, putting extra pressure on their wellbeing and leaving them out of school”. In addition, because they are at the heart of the water, "they should also be at the heart of the debates, decisions and the search for solutions for access to drinking water" said Mr. Sylvain Usher.

A statement echoed in the opening address of Hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources of Ghana. In her opinion, in this male-dominated sector, the importance of women's contribution in finding solutions should be acknowledged (…) in view of our participation in the World Water Forum we must prepare a draft of activities to be undertaken by women, networks and partners and also identify projects to be presented during the forum", urged the Minister.

Mrs. Adrienne Paule Demanou Tapamo, Mayor of Fokoué, Cameroon for her part said that "professional women in WASH must be aware of the role they have to play in shifting the lines of access to water and sanitation in the world. I urge you to advocate for gender mainstreaming in the sector, to engage in community and school awareness programs on current issues such as environmental preservation, sanitation and hygiene," said the mayor of Fokoué.

At the end of the group work and the experiences shared by the panelists, including Dr. Jackie King, from the Institute of Water Sciences, we note that women are mobilizing to make their voices heard during the 9th World Water Forum to be held in Dakar in 2022.