Women & Rivers

Photo: Women farmers use the water from the tributary of the Salween River in Loikow township, Kaya state of Myanmar. Courtesy of Savann Oeurm/Oxfam.

Freshwater resources around the world are under threat. In our era of climate instability and increasingly severe natural and man-made environmental disasters, sustainable development and conservation of water resources will require the active participation of all those who use and depend on water – all of us.

While women often play critical roles in providing, managing and safeguarding water resources, women’s participation in decision-making over water resources remains limited. Solving today’s most pressing water issues depends on not just the participation, but the leadership, experience, and guidance of women.

To address the role of women in water and rivers, International Rivers and its partners convened the inaugural Women and Rivers Congress in March 2019. The event brought together close to 100 women from more than 30 countries to celebrate the fundamental role women play in defending and stewarding freshwater resources, as well as to spur collective action to challenge the deep-rooted, gender inequities that women face in safeguarding rivers and river ecosystems.

Women and Rivers Network Partner-Coordinators:

International Rivers


Women's Earth Alliance

Women and Rivers Network Sponsors:

American Jewish World Service


Australian Aid

Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action (GAGGA)

Global Greengrants Fund

Government of Sweden

MacArthur Foundation


Rockefeller Brothers Fund

Synchronicity Earth