This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step it up for Gender Equality”: a theme that is highly relevant to the Ramsar Convention thanks to the central role that women play in collecting, distributing and managing water, and the roles of some notable women in wetland science and global environmental governance.
In this article we highlight stories from Burkina Faso, Greece, Iraq, Mexico and Senegal to see glimpses of Ramsar Sites where the majority of patrollers are women, to discover women acting as agents of change in local water governance and water leadership. These stories give an insight into the vital roles that women play in wetland-based livelihoods, which support over a billion people around the world.
Women’s central role is recognized in the principles of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), emphasising that “women play a central part in the provision, management and safeguarding of water”. Today, gender issues have been included in many positive policies to address women’s specific issues relating to water and to empower them to participate in the management of water and wetlands, but there is still a long way to go.
Dr Ania Grobicki, Acting Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention talks in her interview about "Wetlands & Leadership" (Click on the image on above to view the video)
As indicated by this year’s theme “Step it up for Gender Equality”, momentum is building to accelerate the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and the effective implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Goal 5 on Gender Equality calls for ending all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere, and ensuring women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership. We are particularly delighted that this ambitious goal comes right before Goal 6, which calls for implementing IWRM, and protecting and restoring water-related ecosystems..
Women & Leadership
Women in Action
Authors: Dr Ania Grobicki, Acting Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention; Mariam Kenza Ali, Manager, Culture & Livelihoods, Ramsar Secretariat