Pakistan stresses women’s participation for effective water management amid water scarcity

Transboundary water cooperation 'crucial' for wider regional integration, peace: Pakistan

UNITED NATIONS, Feb 15 (APP):Pakistan has called for mainstreaming gender, a strategy to achieve equality between women and men, in water governance, saying it was important for achieving water security in water-stressed countries.

“For this to be truly successful, all users and stakeholders must be involved in developing water management and irrigation programmes, including and perhaps first and foremost women,” Pakistani delegate, Senator Naseema Ehsan, told the Annual Parliamentary Hearing, a joint initiative between the President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).

Ms. Ehsan delivered her remarks in Urdu, which were translated into English by an officer of the Pakistan Mission to the UN from an interpreter’s booth. The English translation was simultaneously rendered into the five other official UN languages– French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Russian — by the UN
interpretaters .

“If we are to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6 (about clean water and sanitation for all), we must recognize the need for balanced representation of women, youth and local indigenous communities at all levels of water management,” the Pakistani delegate said, while participating in a dialogue ‘Towards a more inclusive water policy: Leaving no one behind.’

Ms. Naseema Ehsan said Pakistan was fast becoming a “water-scarce” country,and the government has devised a policy to address this challenge.

“This water crisis reaffirms the right of all citizens of Pakistan to equal and affordable access to water as well as to clean drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities,” Ms. Ehsan said.

The government’s current strategy of “Integrated Water Resources Management”, the Pakistani delegate said, recognized the need to introduce appropriate policy initiatives, institutional reforms, and knowledge-based interventions to make water infrastructure and management systems more efficient and sustainable.

She also told the Hearing that the 2018 Sindh Water Management (Amendment) Act guarantees representation of women in provincial water bodies. “This is an important step towards inclusive water governance.”

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