Water efficiency, productivity and sustainability in the NENA regions (WEPS-NENA)

Gender, water and agriculture assessment

Gender equality and women’s empowerment is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, but also integral to all dimensions of inclusive and sustainable development.  Within the Water Efficiency, Productivity, and Sustainability project, funded by SIDA, and implemented in eight of the RNE countries, gender equality is set at the heart of the of the project vision to enhance people’s equitable access to water resources, and hence achieve food security and rural development. 

Gender responsive water assessments:

As all other resources, water is deeply connected to cultural, social, and economic systems, where gender and power relations influence the different ways in which water is accessed, conserved, controlled, and managed. The acknowledgement of the relationship between gender and water is crucial to achieving progress on water security and gender equality, and to the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. As physical access to and control over water is closely related to social norms and cultural values, water assessments can only be meaningful with a gender perspective, identifying the factors that contribute to the inclusion or exclusion of individuals, and indicating what needs to change and how change might be brought about to ensure equality and social justice for women, men, girls and boys.

The methodological note on gender-responsive water assessment allows for an integrated gender analysis in the water and agriculture assessments, and provides clear guidance on how to:

a.       Collect sex-disaggregated data: to understand the differences and similarities between different groups of farmers and rural community members.

b.      Collect and analyse gender qualitative and quantitative information: to understand the lives and experiences of women and men, girls and boys and their circumstances, needs, roles, opportunities, barriers, and the gender and power relations in which they operate, in order to inform future equitable and sustainable water and agriculture interventions.

c.      Use gender-sensitive research tools and methods: to add a gender lens to the scope of work and the research methods.

d.      Undertake gender-sensitive mapping of stakeholders: to help future coordination and partnerships that support gender-responsive interventions.


The methodological note is being implemented for the first time in the region, allowing for a learning-by-doing approach through piloting the assessment in Egypt, followed by the rest of the project areas, including Tunisia, Palestine, and Lebanon, through a number of field gender and agriculture experts.

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