Water for Women partners lead four workshops at virtual symposium on WASH & COVID-19

A group of Bhutanese men and women are crowded around a tap outdoors in the process of washing their hands

Handwashing with soap in Bhutan


Response & recovery for a resilient future

Several Water for Women partners joined the expert line up of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector organisations and practitioners to review and reflect on Covid-19 WASH response and recovery efforts during the Water & WASH Futures WASH & the COVID-19 Pandemic Virtual Symposium, held from 21 to 22 April 2021.  

WASH continues to play a critical role in minimising the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and the pandemic has reminded us all of the essential nature of WASH in preventing illness and other life-threatening diseases, and also promoting health and wellbeing in communities.

While the future remains uncertain, the time to come together as a sector and learn from each other is now. This event encouraged WASH practitioners to reflect, share and learn from COVID-19 responses in order to improve future responses, and to reflect and build on preparedness for potential future pandemics and major disruptions, including climate change.

Water for Women and partners shared knowledge and experience during the global virtual symposium through the workshops: 


Wednesday, 21 April 


COVID-19 & WASH Behaviour Change

Plan International Australia with Water for Women

Exploring COVID-19 hygiene behaviour change efforts and reflecting on the emerging lessons on adaptations - what worked well and what has not.


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Have you washed your hands? WASH behaviour change during the COVID-19 pandemic 


COVID-19, Gender and WASH

ISF-UTS with Water for Women

Discussing lessons and evidence about relationships between COVID-19 impacts and gender equality.


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Considering gender equality in WASH during COVID-19: What we have learned?


Collaborations for Resilient and Healthy People: WASH Systems and COVID-19 Response 

WaterAid and UNICEF with Water for Women Fund

Exploring experiences and lessons on the collaborative systems responses that are critical to ensure adequate and inclusive WASH to mitigate the spread and impact of COVID-19.


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Looking at the WASH system and a coordinated, effective COVID-19 response


Thursday, 22 April


Share the Power: progressing inclusion of marginalised people in WASH through “not being neutral’  World Vision and Edge Effect Australia with Water for Women

Discussing the importance of development practitioners not remaining neutral when it comes to inclusion of SGM people and people with disability, and how we can use these extraordinary times to shift the power.


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WASH solutions for all: how the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted voice, representation and power and what we must do to “leave no-one behind”


Session recordings can now be viewed and the resources downloaded from the WASH & Covid-19 Pandemic Virtual Symposium website.

View now


With support from Australia's Partnerships for Recovery, Water for Women partners have responded rapidly to address the needs of communities through their established WASH projects and continue to work hard and collaboratively to support countries in their COVID-19 responses, embed COVID-19 preparedness into their WASH projects and support recovery from the challenges brought about by the pandemic.


This event was delivered by the International WaterCentre and Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and proudly supported by Water for Women.

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