Inclusive communities are essential for climate-resilience: Water for Women amplifies WASH at COP27

a picture of panellists on a stage at the Water Pavilion at COP27

Panelists from the Water Pavilion session today on Building Community Resilience Through Basic Social Services: Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene.


17 November 2022: Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt: Australia’s flagship water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) program, the Water for Women Fund has showcased the exponential value and achievability of climate-resilient inclusive WASH across diverse country contexts at COP27.

Water for Women’s presence at COP27 follows the recent launch of its report on Knowledge and Practice Gaps in Climate Resilient Inclusive WASH, which includes a framework for climate-resilient WASH developed by Water for Women partners. The report outlines the unique strengths and contributions Water for Women aims to bring to the regional and global WASH sectors during its recently announced 2.5-year extension to December 2024.


“Water for Women’s framework for climate-resilient WASH builds on five Sanitation and Water for All building blocks in addition to ‘infrastructure’, ‘environment/water resources’ and ‘user engagement’,” explains Fund Manager, Dr Alison Baker.

“The report covers country contexts in Asia and the Pacific with a range of socio-ecological zones that are experiencing different climate hazards, with different societal implications – from mountainous areas of Bhutan and Nepal that are under threat from extreme weather events and consequent surface water contamination, to low-lying Pacific islands already experiencing the impacts of sea level rises, including coastal inundation and saltwater intrusion on freshwater supplies.”


Now in its fifth year, Water for Women brings depth of experience from 20 WASH projects and 13 research initiatives in 15 countries across South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Committed to bringing the voices of the Asia Pacific region to COP27, Water for Women presented on Partnerships for future proofing – building inclusive communities for resilient water and WASH in the Asia-Pacific region at the Australian Pavilion on Water and Gender Day, highlighting how equitable WASH is a building block for a climate-resilient future.

Water for Women is proud to be a core partner of the Water Pavilion at COP27 and today joined with key water sector organisations including UNICEF, Global Water Partnership, WHO and WaterAid to discuss climate, water and sanitation solutions for health and sustainable development.

Harnessing expertise and learning from our partners has allowed Water for Women to develop useful tools and guidance to strengthen climate-resilient WASH such as the soon-to-be launched climate change and inclusive WASH online course, our Partnerships for Transformation: Guidance for WASH and Rights Holder Organisations, Shifting Social Norms for Transformative WASH, WASH Financing briefs for Donors and CSOs and the Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Self-Assessment Tool

At COP27 we have reiterated the crucial role of inclusive WASH to building climate resilience in people, communities and nations as a whole. Access to WASH is fundamental to human health and wellbeing, and the ripple effects of investment in WASH are widely accepted as four-fold For WASH services and systems to be sustainable, they must also be socially equitable, inclusive for all, and now more than ever - climate-resilient. Water for Women is partnering with civil society, research and rights holder organisations, local and national governments and communities, who are at the centre of and leading the way in strengthening equality, inclusion and resilience in WASH for current and future generations.

Since 2018, Water for Women has directly benefited almost 3 million people across 15 Asia-Pacific countries – including more than 1.3 million women and girls, 1.3 million men and boys, 73,000 people with disability, and those attending the more than 700 schools and healthcare facilities now with improved access to WASH.

Water for Women is participating at COP27 as part of Australia – water partners for development, a collaboration with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australian Water Partnership. Water for Women is represented on the ground in Sharm El-Sheikh by Dr Alison Baker, Fund Manager, Joanna Mott, Gender, Disability and Inclusion Specialist, and partners from SNV, WaterAid, iDE and the University of Technology Sydney’s Institute for Sustainable Futures.

A graphic promoting Water for Women resources

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