Reinforcing gender equity
Women constitute two-thirds of the 1.2 billion poor people in the world. The great majority live in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, regions that are also home to most of the world’s ‘water poor’ – those with limited access to reliable, safe supplies of water for productive and domestic uses. The role women play in reducing food insecurity and poverty – through their knowledge of multiple uses of water, crop production, local biodiversity, soils and local water resources – is recognized internationally. However, despite this, they are often still excluded from decision-making processes in new water management approaches and other natural resource allocation projects and initiatives. Globalization, changing market dynamics and climate change are altering the rural context for most poor rural people, resulting in increased vulnerability to natural hazards and economic uncertainties, above all for women.