Reflections on the Women in Water Diplomacy Network’s Path to World Water Week 2022
2022 has been an exciting year for the Women in Water Diplomacy Network and the members of our Leadership Council. We have sought to rigorously develop and build our Global Strategy while building and expanding global connections with partners and sister networks.
2022 has been an exciting year for the Women in Water Diplomacy Network and the members of our Leadership Council. We have sought to rigorously develop and build our Global Strategy while building and expanding global connections with partners and sister networks. Several key events marked the path to World Water Week 2022 and the launch of our Global Strategy including consultations with the Nile Basin Network, partners, and our sister network in Central Asia and Afghanistan Network. Our motivations to achieve our objectives do not end with the Strategy’s launch – new initiatives under the framework of the strategy are already taking shape to make our vision a reality. Following World Water Week, the Network joined COP27 online and preparations are underway for engagements at the 2023 UN Water Conference in New York.
I am pleased that women’s voices were strongly reflected at World Water Week 2022, the leading annual conference on global water issues. Seeing my sisters representing the Women in Water Diplomacy Network in the Nile, the Women in Water Management in Central Asia & Afghanistan, the Americas and Europe, development partners and other women engaged in transboundary water management in person after several months of virtual communication and digital events, was a particular highlight. More than 50 women water diplomats and Network supporters gathered in Stockholm on 30 August 2022 with excitement and pride to witness the critical milestone of the new Global Strategy launch. There, our Network’s Joint Statement, ‘A Rising Tide’ of support for women in water diplomacy, was read by representatives from the different regions of the network showing that, just like water, women’s solidarity has no borders!
The Women in Water Diplomacy Network’s Leadership Council Members, myself included, have committed ourselves to serving and empowering women water diplomats as well as enhancing cooperation by supporting capacity-building and knowledge-sharing activities and further integrating gender into water management and intergenerational knowledge transfer to ensure long-term sustainable engagement. I hope our ongoing initiatives to connect women – and male champions – as part of our Global Strategy will continue to contribute to peace and stability in the Nile and beyond.
On behalf of the Leadership Council, I would like to thank SIWI’s Network Process Support Team and the development and implementation partners who have supported us and brought us to Sweden to attend the prestigious World Water Week. To all our sisters from different parts of the world whom we have met in person and online and shared many memorable memories with, we thank you. We believe we will work together as we advance and grow the role of women in water diplomacy!
Yodit Balcha currently serves as Climate Change Adaptation Research Officer II at the Alliance Bioversity-CIAT Climate Action, Africa Hub.