Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world

The value of women is infinite – on International Women’s Day, we are celebrating women and girls as changemakers, innovators and leaders and their tremendous efforts around the world in shaping a more equal future and supporting COVID-19 response and recovery.

Women stand at the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis as health care workers, caregivers, policymakers, activists, innovators, entrepreneurs, business leaders and community organisers. The global pandemic has highlighted the disproportionate burdens that women carry and the importance of women’s contributions to decision making.

Gender and socially inclusive Water Resource Management (WRM) and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) is a priority for the Australian Government. In many partner projects primarily throughout the Indo-Pacific region, women are leading organisations, institutions and community groups carrying out effective and inclusive COVID-19 responses under two key programs: Australian Water Partnership and Water for Women.

International Women’s Day (#IWD2021 #WomenLead) provides an opportunity to highlight the importance and the value of empowering women to lead through Australia’s development programs, which are helping to build resilient communities and deliver more sustainable and effective outcomes. This is because societies that include women in all aspects of economic, political and cultural life are more likely to be vibrant, inclusive, productive and stable, for everyone.

From International Women’s Day (8 March) through to World Water Day (22 March), we will be sharing updates from our partners and activities across the Indo-Pacific region to showcase the value of women and the value of water. Both are critical to building healthy and climate-resilient communities.

Women, water and climate change are inextricably linked. Clean, safe and accessible water for everyone in the community plays a critical role in addressing poverty and contributing to economic and human development. Cohesive and fair communities are naturally more resilient, including to shocks from a changing climate or disease outbreaks.

That is why Australia supports inclusive and sustainable water initiatives in Asian and Pacific communities. Through the Australian Water Partnership, our partners are working to ensure that gender equality, disability and social inclusion is an essential criterion in all our activities.

Happy International Women’s Day!

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