A Resource Guide to Gender, Rights and Water Privatization

Every day, many women and girls walk or travel long distances to bring water to their families, often at the expense of education, income generating activities, cultural and political involvement, and rest and recreation. Despite this, women’s central role in water resources management is often ignored.

Privatization is one aspect of the world’s water crisis that is having a deeply negative impact on the livelihoods of women. Increasingly, water resources management in countries across the globe is being determined by policies of the international financial and trade institutions—the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and World Trade Organization (WTO). More than two decades ago, the World Bank and IMF began to prescribe a new policy package called structural adjustment programs (SAPs) to indebted countries in exchange for loan financing. Thus, over many years women have disproportionately experienced the burdens of privatization policies in the form of enormous price hikes, water cut-offs, deteriorating water quality, and health and sanitation hazards.

WEDO seeks to increase the power of women worldwide as decision-makers at all levels to achieve economic and social justice, democratic governance, and sustainable development.


Diverting the Flow (2003)

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Women and girls around the world are demanding and creating systemic change and a sustainable future for all. We need collective power to attain a just future – we need you.