Aurat Publication & Information Service Foundation
Launching Ceremony of Women Water Network Islamabad & Women’s Colloquium , Islamabad


Launching Ceremony of Women Water Network Islamabad & Women’s Colloquium

Aurat Foundation organized a launching ceremony of Women Water Network and Women's Colloquium with Hisaar Foundation on 3rd August, 2019 in Aurat Foundation, Head office, Islamabad.

The objective of this activity is to engage organizations and woman individually who are active in the areas of water and sanitation, sustainable development, women's participation and empowerment. The members may be rural women, academia, women water professionals, and businesswomen to service organizations and special interest groups. Women as active leaders, partners, experts and agents of change in water are highly appreciated to join.

The formal meeting started with the welcome note delivered by Ms. Mumtaz Mughal, Director Programme Aurat Foundation and introduction of participants. She has given the brief introduction on formation and set up Women Water Network. After this, Ms Eisha from AF has given a brief presentation titled "Every Drop Count" on importance and consumption of water.

Ms. Simi Kamal, Water Specialist and founder of Hisaar Foundation explained the global trends of water and the role of women in this area. She highlighted many names who are contributing their life for this cause. Further, she explained the role of Pakistani women around water table and why women are important to pursue in water sector. Discussion was held for the conservation of water and participants shared their achievement and thoughts. Ms. Farzana Saleem, Coordinator, National Women Water Network added valuing water and protecting our ecosystem. She explained water governance and its infrastructure.

Over 2 billion people live in countries experiencing high water stress. Worldwide, over 80% of all wastewater returns to the environment without being treated (WWAP, 2017). The increase in demand for irrigation for agriculture has led to severe groundwater stress in some areas, especially in two of Asia's major food baskets, India and China. Gender inequalities in access to water are large and persistent in many countries. She also highlighted that Water planners choose amongst competing uses. Women don't have a formal voice in the sector therefore domestic use is given least priority. Often irrigation schemes are conducted with landowners therefore women are left out of the equation

Participants discussed inherent and historical role of women in preservance, usage and distribution of water resources with a view to maintain and strengthen it. They also proposed interventions at research, policy advocacy and grassroots' mobilisation for ensuring women's role in water crisis solutions. Many examples are shared that how small behavioral change lead to big evolution. The participants appreciated the work and had given their valuable input in this regard. They devoted that Little Drops of Water Make a Mighty Ocean.

In the end of event, an executive committee comprised of four members was formed to access new areas of knowledge and a forum to work with other members. Ms. Samina Shoaib, President Women Water Network (WWN- Islamabad), Ms. Zartasha , General Secretary, Ms. Farhana Satti and Ms. Doultana Kausar. Ms. Farkhanda Aurugzaib and Farzana Saleem will provide technical support while Ms. Mumtaz from AF will provide secretarial support to WWN Islamabad. More than 44 participants attended the event. They were from academia, public offices, civil society, law, media, individual experts, and representatives of women alliances.