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General

Empowering women in water diplomacy: A basic mapping of the challenges in Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan

Highlights

This mapping is indicative of challenges of women experts in water diplomacy work.

There is untapped potential through skills development in cross related disciplines.

There is added value for women inclusiveness in negotiatings and decision making teams.

It is a joint effort for men and women to empower women in water diplomacy.

Abstract

Until now, limited attention has been afforded to the role of, and challenges faced by, women involved in water diplomacy. In addition to research being at an early stage, it is mainly focused on addressing the challenges imposed by gender inequality. Thus very few applicable policy recommendations have emerged in this field to date.

This paper will explore and identify current challenges that face the women interested in attaining high level positions in water diplomacy, in three Arab countries in which hydropolitics prevails, including Jordan, Lebanon and the State of Palestine. Female experts working on water-related issues were surveyed and interviewed to ascertain key qualitative issues, perceptions and various challenges. The focus of the paper was to identify the additional skills to be developed and acquired, for these women to better qualify as water diplomats both nationally and globally. In addition, the paper explores how to better equip women as leaders in the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goal 5 on Gender Equality and Goal 6 on Clean Water and Sanitation, in their national water sectors. The results provide a basic and initial mapping of current challenges and makes recommendations that would assist in the empowerment of those women in water diplomacy decision making positions in the regions investigated specifically, as well as globally.

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