The Assistant Director-General for UNESCO Natural Sciences, Shamila Nair-Bedouelle, will address the UN members states and other participants in the 7th International Day of Women and Girls in Science Assembly, taking place on 11 February 2022, in virtual format from UN Headquarters in New York.
The event, organized by the Royal Academy of Science International Trust (RASIT), aims to recognize the role of women and girls in science, not only as beneficiaries, but also as agents of change, including in view of accelerating progress towards the achievement of SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation).
The 7th Assembly on the theme Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Water Unites Us will bring together women in science, high-level government officials, representatives of international organizations and the private sector to discuss the water nexus in achieving sustainable development. It will showcase best practices, strategies, applied solutions, and experiences in addressing the SDG6 challenges and opportunities through the Cansu Global Media Room.
On this occasion, the World Water Assessment Programme of UNESCO will also take the floor, presenting the work in water and gender, with particular focus on the Call for Action to Accelerate Gender Equality in the Water Domain, which can be considered a wake-up call for eliminating gender inequalities from the male-dominated water sector in which women continues to be critically under-represented. Urgent action in this field will be key to the achievement of a water-secure world.
Several members of the ‘Call for Action Multi-stakeholder Coalition’ will be speaking in different panels and conversation, thereby highlighting the need to gender-transformative action and the relevance of the Call for Action Initiative to reaching this objective:
In Panel 1 Conversation 1: “Women in Science for Water and Society: Bridging Voices to Action”, Ms. Silvia Rafaelli, Senior Researcher, Director of Centro Regional Litoral of the Argentina National Institute of Water, will speak on her work and vision to achieve water security for all.
In Panel 1 Conversation 2: “Reviving Peace through science-based water diplomacy”, Ms. Mary Khimulu, Chairperson of Kenya Water Sector Trust Fund Board of Directors, will make an intervention regarding mediation in water disputes, preventive diplomacy and transboundary water resources management.
In Panel 2 Conversation 2: “Financing Innovative Science-and Green Technology-based Water Solutions and Programs” will see the participation of Ms. Neeta Pokhrel, Chief of Water Sector Group, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department of the Asian Development Bank. She will discuss how to strike the balance between financing innovation and traditional knowledge in water projects and programmes.