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Press Release 
Adriaan Taljaard 
Media invitation: Gender, water and Development conference

All media are reminded of and invited to the inaugural Gender, Water & Development Conference around the theme: “The Untapped Connection”, which will take place in East London, South Africa from 3-7 November 2014. This conference will be hosted by the Water Research Commission of South Africa, in partnership with the Department of Water and Sanitation of South Africa, African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW), Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Women for Water Partnership. 

The African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW), a Ministerial advisory body to the African Union’s (AU) Heads of States and Governments, recognising the significant issues pertaining to water and gender on the continent, have developed a gender and water strategy. This strategy has seven key themes that will also be addressed at the conference in a meaningful and practical way that must and will make a real difference to the lives of poor women and men in Africa. These themes are:

  • Mobilising strategic human and financial resources
  • Implementing project interventions through economic empowerment and other gendered approaches
  • Undertaking, sharing and implementing strategic research and operational knowledge
  • Mainstreaming gender through human and institutional capacity development
  • Mechanisms to promote cooperation and coordination for mainstreaming gender in the water sector
  • Monitoring and evaluation systems to support gender equality in the water sector

Recognising the stature of this conference, the South African Cabinet at its meeting on 20 August 2014 gave the green light for the upcoming conference that will provide a platform to forge partnerships that will address the challenges faced by the sector. It will also address the roll-out of the African Ministers Council on Water Gender Strategy. While the conference agenda will be guided by the African Minister’s Council on Water (AMCOW) Gender Strategy, several opportunities exist to consolidate and build on the existing programme. As the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals approaches, the conference will act as a barometer for assessing how the world has performed on Goal 3, while also considering how gender equality is being considered in the Post 2015 agenda.

As one of the primary hosts of the conference, the former Department of Water Affairs has recently undergone a strategic change that will see its mandate being expanded to not only manage the country’s national water resources but to also include sanitation, thus the new Department of Water and Sanitation. The Minister of Water & Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane has expressed her commitment to meeting the basic needs of South Africa’s poorest people and has shown a genuine sensitivity for how women and children remain the most vulnerable citizens despite 20 years of democracy.

More than 320 delegates from 30 countries have registered to attend and the success of the conference is dependent on the diverse participation of stakeholders across cultures, sectors and traditional boundaries to ensure that we deliver outcomes that are truly representative and participatory. The Ministerial segment of the conference also implies the seriousness with which these matters are taken on the continent. The Ministerial conference declaration will drive the implementation of the conference outcomes beyond the conference and ensure the roll out of such implementation.

The Water, Gender and Development conference aims to bring together a wide range of people from inside and outside the water sector to engage debate and find solutions to these challenges, and through this to assist AMCOW, African countries and other developing nations to address the developmental challenges of gender, poverty and water.

Date for the conference: 3 – 7 November 2014

Venue: East London Internal Convention Centre, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Secretariat: Glaudin Kruger, Tel: 00 27 28 316 2905, Email: kruger@krugerassociate.com

Web address: http://www.global-water-conference1.com

All media are invited.


For more information contact:



Issued by the Department of Water and Sanitation and the Water Research Commission



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