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The Executive Board of AfWA will pay special attention to gender balance in the implementation of activities

Friday, 10 June 2022
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AfWA News133‘‘water is life, women give life, the water issue is first and foremost a women’s issue’’

be sure that I would do everything possible to guarantee your massive participation in this great meeting of the daughters and sons of Chad (In the Editor’s note: the inclusive national dialogue). No one will tell you the story, you will write it for yourselves’’. This promise was made during the meeting with the Head of State, General Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, on the occasion of the International Women’s Day, celebrated last 8th March 2022. The entire issue of gender has gained momentum in facing the challenges of women’s participation in the development of our country.

There is no gain in acknowledging that women are not very present in the management of water resources, whereas water infrastructures constitute a challenge and an opportunity that is still untapped.

Encouraging and facilitating their employment in the water and sanitation sector could significantly reduce gender inequalities and contribute to the achievement of sustainable development objectives.

Women should be taken very seriously in our countries in terms of their ability to contribute to development.

Culture,  prejudices,  clichés  and  gender  stereotypes  are  all obstacles  that  still  prevent  the

emergence of the female class in this sector.

Generally speaking, the inadequate involvement of women in the water and sanitation sector, the

uncoordinated sector approach, etc.,

mean that women’s involvement is often relegated to issues of women’s associations.

This is a rather limited interpretation, as women are thus placed in a disadvantaged position, whereas

water resources should be managed from bottom up and women should be recognized as a key actor in the supply and management of water. Within the CHADIAN WATER COMPANY, these are all points

compelling us, internally, to put in place a policy that aims to put men and women on the same footing and based on the main criterion of competence. In general, a stronger presence

of women in decision-making and supervisory positions in the sector would promote greater awareness of women’s concerns and needs. Their views could thus influence the way water and sanitation sector is managed, and how resources are accessed and controlled, because ‘‘water is life,

women give life, the water issue is first and foremost a women’s issue’’. We must provide more training opportunities in the water and sanitation sector in order to facilitate equal access to this sector and develop network mentoring programmes, as is currently the case with the Women’s

Professional Network, facilitate and strengthen women’s leadership,  and clearly address the issue of gender based stereotypes, etc. In short, women must be put back where they belong.

Managing Director of Société Tchadienne des Eaux

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