President’s Post: Follow me at World Water Week

Dear Soroptimists,

This coming Sunday is the kick-off for the World Water Week for a Water Wise World.

World Water Week is a conference organised by Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). The conference focuses on new thinking and positive action toward water-related challenges and their impact on the environment, health, climate, economic and poverty reduction. This year’s World Water Week will be held in Stockholm from 27 August – 1 September and the theme is Water and Waste – Reduce and Reuse.

Thousands of experts from hundreds of organisations and stakeholders involved in water from over a hundred countries will get together to work towards a sustainable and water wise world.

As SI President and as the President of Women for Water Partnership (WfWP), I will of course be an active participant and will prioritise efforts toward a water wise world for women and more women in leadership positions in water management. Not only is it important to ensure clean water and sanitation for all (SDG6), but also this clean water must be equally accessible to women. It is time for women’s voices to be heard and for women to be seen as experts, combining the SDGs 5 and 6: Gender equality and water for all.

                         SDG Gender Equality

Soroptimism and Water – Women, Water & Leadership

It is not without reason that my President’s Appeal for 2017-2019 is “Women, Water & Leadership”.

As Soroptimists, we endeavour to better the lives of and to create opportunities for women worldwide. Water is the very essence of life and opportunity. Without water there can be no food, no health, no education, no economic development, no empowerment. Many of the thousands of projects that Soroptimists support are about water. These include projects that improve water and sanitation infrastructures, ensure the availability of safe water and sanitation for a healthy life, educate women on the use of water, its preservation and treatment, and more.

I shall address the convened water experts on Sunday and talk about the need for gender equality in agriculture. I also intend to show how this is strongly related to educating women in the water sector to be leaders and experts in water management. On the day of sessions titled, “Understanding the gender dimension of water and waste”, my speech will elaborate on the connection between SDG5 and SDG6.

Watch this space for a report on the World Water Week and my contribution!

Mariet Verhoef-Cohen, SI President

Lead photograph courtesy of UN Photo/Martine Perret

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