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Press Release 
Eiman Karar  
South Africa hosts Gender Water and Development Conference

As the world celebrates International Women’s Day on the 8th March, the issue of gender equity is being prioritised as a mechanism for creating more equal societies and spurring development.

From 3-7 November 2014, stakeholders from across the globe will gather in East London, South Africa, for the Gender, Water and Development Conference convened by the Water Research Commission to debate what challenges and successes have emerged in mainstreaming gender across water policy.

The guiding framework for the conference will be the African Minister's Council (AMCOW) on Water and Gender Strategy where seven clear objectives have been identified from policy, resource, strategic research, capacity building, cooperation and monitoring and evaluation as needed to achieve the overall objective of gender equality.

As the country host, this event also forms part of South Africa's 20 years of celebration of freedom, where the Department of Water Affairs will reflect on its scorecard in delivering clean drinking water and sanitation to the country’s poorest citizens and its efforts to erase the infrastructure backlog of the apartheid legacy. It is therefore fitting that the conference is held in the country’s historically poorest province, the Eastern Cape, birthplace of former President Nelson Mandela.

Co-hosts for the conference include South Africa’s Department of Water Affairs, the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) and the International Women for Water Partnership (WFWP). Several partner organisations including the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the international Water and Sanitation Partnership (WSP), the Global Water Partnership (GWP), the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), the Institute of Women’s and Gender Studies, University of Pretoria, and the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) will support the conference in aligning with global initiatives and widening the audience.

The conference programme is designed to encourage broad stakeholder engagement and to serve as a platform for key role players from community based organisations, academia, government institutions and the private sector to exchange knowledge and distil best practice on gender perspectives in policy, programme implementation and governance.

“Our intention for the conference is to challenge the social constructs that define roles for men and women and tackle topics that intersect race, class and gender. Only through an equal society can we achieve the kind of economic stability needed for growth and development in our poorest countries” explains Barbara Schreiner, Chairperson for the conference.

Participants can register for the conference via the website at www.global-water-conference1.com  Opportunities still exist for organisations and companies to join as sponsors and relevant water innovation and technology manufacturers/companies are encouraged to exhibit in the Open Area.

Notes to Editors:

Journalists who would like to attend the event should register as delegates and check the media box. Only representatives with full-time roles or established publishing platforms will be considered.

A draft programme is available on the website and any interviews with speakers should be arranged through the Media and Communication office at WRC.

 For more information contact:

Water Research Commission

Adriaan Taljaard

Communication and Marketing Manager

Email: adriaant@wrc.org.za

For any other queries please make contact with

 GWD Conference Secretariat

Kruger & Associates

Tel: +27 28 316 2905 /316 4658

Email: kruger@krugerassociate.com







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