Strengthening Capacities in Latin America for Gender Mainstreaming in Water Governance

The International Hydrological Programme (IHP) and the Ibero-American Water Directors Conference (CODIA) brought together Latin-American experts at a course for capacity-building and experience-sharing on gender mainstreaming for sustainable water governance. Representatives of thirteen countries from Latin America and the Caribbean gathered in Bolivia from 11 to 13 November 2015 to participate in the course “Gender mainstreaming in decision-making on water governance” at the Training Centre of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) in Santa Cruz de la Sierra.

The aim of the course was to enhance water security and sustainability by improving the inclusion of gender equality in water access, management and governance. This is the second course in the framework of the cooperation between UNESCO’s IHP, AECID and CODIA to strengthen capacities for the sustainable management of freshwater in Latin America.  

The activity saw the participation of 28 technicians, professionals and governmental representatives from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Peru. The course was taught by a team of experts from different institutions and backgrounds: Francisco T. Rodríguez (UNESCO Chair on Water, Women and Governance, at the Instituto Global de Altos Estudios en Ciencias Sociales, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic); Vera Lúcia de Miranda Guarda (UNESCO Chair on Water, Women and Development, Federal University of Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais, Brazil); Denise Soares (Mexican Institute of Water Technology, IMTA); María Angélica Alegría Calvo (School of Engineering, University of Chile) and Mar Humberto (AECID Bolivia).

During the three day course, participants reflected on the importance of gender mainstreaming in the water sector; assessed progress in the institutionalization of gender mainstreaming in public institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean; and addressed how to integrate a gender approach throughout the project cycle management. The course had an important focus on good practices in the region, such as gender mainstreaming in public policies in Dominican Republic, gender equity in community water management in Nicaragua and women empowerment through social entrepreneurship programs in Brazil. Participants highlighted that the initiative was an important opportunity for exchanging experiences among different countries in Latin America whilst facilitating the collective construction of knowledge and the establishment of future collaborations through participatory approaches.

Other courses in the framework of the cooperation between IHP, AECID and CODIA were: “Water Economics” that took place at the AECID Training Centre in Montevideo, Uruguay, from 3 to 7 August 2015 and “Water Diplomacy” in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia on 30 November and 1 December 2015.

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