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Promoting gender equality in NBI

On 8th March, 2016, the world once again marked the annual International Women’s Day, to reflect on progress made, call for change and celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries, communities and organizations.

NBI has in the past undertaken several interventions to promote gender equality. These include formulation of the Gender Mainstreaming Policy and Strategy (2012-2016), which is anchored in NBI’s Shared Vision Objective: “To achieve sustainable socio-economic development through the equitable utilization of, and benefit from, the common Nile Basin water resources”.

This Policy and Strategy provides a framework that guides NBI programs and projects as well as Member States on how to implement gender actions in the water sector. The Policy is informed by international, regional and national commitments to achieve gender equality and equity.

The establishment of the NBI Women’s Forum that was composed of female NBI employees and other women stakeholders in the Basin is yet another of the efforts undertaken by NBI. This is in addition to a Gender Assessment in 2009 as the baseline for future gender mainstreaming actions within the NBI programs and projects. The report findings highlighted gender equality and women’s empowerment actions that NBI had implemented, and made recommendations on how the institution could deepen its engagement in this area. More recently, NBI documented good practices in mainstreaming gender equality.

muslim young girl layout
photo credit: iStock

The theme for year’s International Women’s Day is “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”. The theme is particularly inviting all people to reflect on how to fast-track the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which recognizes women’s empowerment as a precondition to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).