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No. 14 (271) July 2015


A regional training workshop on gender mainstreaming and conflict resolution in water governance, jointly organized by the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC) and OSCE, was held from 8 to 10 July in Almaty province, Kazakhstan in the “Lesnaya skazka” health resort.

The workshop was aimed to increase the awareness and understanding of the importance of gender, assist in conflict management and resolution in Central Asia’s water governance.

The training was designed:

  • to increase the awareness and understanding of the importance of gender in water governance and different approaches of gender mainstreaming;
  • to increase the skills and knowledge of participants with regards to environmental mediation and conflict management related to water;
  • to identify ways to facilitate broader engagement of women in water governance
  • to have joint learning, exchange of knowledge and experience in a positive and constructive workshop atmosphere

Almost 50 representatives from state agencies, NGOs, citizen’s action group, international organizations dealing with gender, and educational organizations from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan took part in the workshop.

During the first day, the main session on prospects of gender, water resources, and conflict resolution was moderated by Jenniver Sehring, Environmental Affairs Adviser at OCEEA (Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities). The keynote speakers were: Damira Sartbaeva, gender activists and Ex-Director of the UN-Women Regional Programme; Susan Bazilli, Director of International Women’s Rights Project (IWRP); Francesca Greco, UN WWAP UNESCO Gender and Water Focal Point.

In the second day, Susan Bazilli, IWRP Director, and Hedda Ohlberger-Femundsenden, OSCE Adviser on Gender Issues, moderated training on gender equality in the water sector.

The session on the experience sharing on gender mainstreaming and water conflict resolution in Central Asia and the CAREC’s contribution was moderated by Ekaterina Strikeleva, Manager of the Water Initiatives Support Programme at CAREC. Lyudmila Kiktenko, CAREC specialist, made a keynote report on gender analysis as part of the Project “Assessment of ecosystem services for improvement of agricultural water management in Kazakhstan”. The report was based on project studies and surveys of local population in the project area.

Representative of SIC ICWC Dr. G.V.Stulina also took part in this training. She made a presentation on gender and water in Central Asia, which summarized past gender-related activities. She also underlined that SIC ICWC has been addressing gender issues as long as 15 years and its water management projects included the gender component. The Gender and Water Network was developed with the support of ADB.

The workshop was concluded with another one training exercise on gender-sensitive environmental mediation and conflict resolution related to water, which was facilitated by Diana Pound, Lucy Armitage, and Bryony Pound from «Dialogue Matters», Great Britain.

It should be stressed that, based on conducted research, for increased and effective participation of women at all levels of decision making, one need to take into account different attitudes in various communities to specific social and economic roles of men and women. Special training programs for professionals, representatives of local communities, and mobilizers working at local level are a very important step for raising of the awareness in the water sector.

Source: CAREC information