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Women for Water Partnership

Women for Water Partnership (WfWP) is a unique partnership of women’s organizations and networks, uniting women leadership in around 134 predominantly low and middle-income countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA region) and Western Europe, reaching over one million women.

All 28 member organizations are rooted in society and are active in the areas of water and sanitation, sustainable development, women’s participation and empowerment. The membership ranges from rural women, academia, women water professionals, and businesswomen to service organizations and special interest groups. WfWP positions women as active leaders, partners, experts and agents of change in the water sector.

WfWP uses water as an entry point to women’s empowerment and to improve equitable access to water for all, for all uses. Women traditionally have vast experience in the water sector and the crucial role they play in effective and efficient water management is increasingly acknowledged and supported by evidence. Involving both women and men in integrated water resources initiatives leads to better sustainability, governance and efficiency.

Being a diverse network of women’s organizations, WfWP can draw from a magnitude of expertise and knowledge relating to different themes and topics in the broad water-gender-sustainable development nexus. When a specific expertise is needed, globally, regionally or nationally, WfWP calls upon the relevant member to represent WfWP and provide input for that specific occasion.

Since its establishment in 2004, Women for Water Partnership (WfWP) has consistently raised the profile of women in the water and development sector, both in their professional capacity and as a major group in society.

WfWP has significantly contributed to improving access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH), through the water projects implemented by its members. Despite limited funds, WfWP’s work has resulted in impressive outcomes. Projects have led to sustainable solutions for WaSH delivery, irrigation, water management, empowered women and communities, and, stimulated local economic development, generating additional income streams for women and their communities. Many women have gained positions in decision-making processes, from local water bodies to international fora.

These achievements are a direct result of WfWP’s approach to seeking solutions at three levels simultaneously:

1. At the grassroots level WfWP, through its member organizations and in cooperation with strategic partners, enables local women’s groups to address priority challenges in their communities related to water and sustainable development. Women groups are coached and supported to manage and supervise their own projects, lobby and advocate to influence local agenda’s and to become leaders or agents of change in their constituencies.

2. At the national level WfWP capacitates and supports member organizations to effectively contribute to the development and implementation of policies and programmes in their regions and countries.

3. At the global level WfWP and its member organizations use their collective voice for women in global agenda setting and contribute to international policy development through UN and other global processes. WfWP looks out for improving policies and keeping governments to their commitments.

Member projects and programmes to contribute to equitable access to safe water and sustainable development are at the heart of WfWP. In our projects members focus on the inclusion of women from day one: from decisions about starting a water project/programme, to investments, allocation of means, design, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluations of the programme. Special attention is paid to inclusion of women in water governance. Capacity development both at institutional and individual level remains a crucial aspect in all our projects. Emphasis is placed on empowerment of women and their communities, coaching, and (vocational) training. Regional and national hubs will increasingly support these projects.

Lobby and advocacy is an essential element of WfWP’s work to ensure that decision makers, science and technology take on board local realities. WfWP influences policy by providing members a podium to articulate their opinions in (inter)-national policy processes and main (inter)-national water events. WfWP collaborates with partners and like-minded organisations also outside the water sector to increase its effectiveness. Lobby messages are derived from real life experiences and lessons learnt.

WfWP’s knowledge exchange and learning platform, along with regional workshops and peer-to-peer support, facilitates members in sharing best practices, lessons learnt and expertise on different themes. It contributes to improved project implementation, and stimulates “out of the box thinking”.

WfWP gratefully accepts donations. If you wish your contribution(s) to benefit WfWP or a specific (project of a) WfWP member organization, visit the member organisations page for profiles of all members and their work. Mention the member/project when donating through your bank or write to or

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