Key resources from Women and Rivers Congress participants compiled here document some of their important contributions to river protection movements in their regions, and serve to illustrate the ways in which women continue to push for increased participation in decision making about their rivers. This page will serve as an open-access information hub, and will be continually updated with new resources and events shared by Congress participants.

Communique: Women and Rivers Congress

The inaugural Women and Rivers Congress this March in Nagarkot, Nepal was a tremendous success, bringing 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.

This is the summary of what transpired and the collective action this inspiring group of women leaders resolved to carry out.

Gender Inclusion in Water Governance

Women are often excluded from the management of water resources. Oxfam and our partners aim to include women and men in decisions about water resource management. A workshop organised by Oxfam and IUCN brought together our partners from the community, civil society and governments from across the Mekong region to discuss pathways for gender integration in water governance.

The River Guardian

The story of a woman's commitment to protect the Mekong river, the lifeblood of millions of citizens.

Inga Women Speak

Inga women have been fighting for their rights and to stop the third dam from being built on their river. Their livelihoods and wellbeing are at stake, as many decisions have been made without their voices being heard.

"I will not benefit from this project, my family will not benefit as well. Our parents and grandparents have passed on and they didn't even enjoy the goodness of our land." - Angelique Mvuezolo (Inga Resident)

Gendered Perspectives and Activist Training to Protect the Congo River

The largest dam in history, planned to be built on the Congo River, would have extensive impacts on communities that have traditionally lived along the river. International Rivers has been working with communities that would be impacted by the Inga 3 dam, and organizing both women and men to better understand their rights and advocate against the costly and destructive Inga 3. We collected gendered perspectives on the impacts of the dam in "The Women of Inga: A Portrait of Resilience."

In May 2018, International Rivers’ Africa program held a week-long advocacy training in Kisantu, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The training was aimed at strengthening the movement of civil society partners and community groups to effectively advocate for the protection of rivers, rights of dam affected communities, and energy access for marginalized populations. The training was attended by 18 participants from civil society organizations across the DRC.

The training covered the following topics:

  • Peace and conflict transformation
  • Gender and inclusivity
  • Stakeholder analysis
  • Campaign messaging
  • Campaign planning
  • Campaign visioning and strategic objectives
  • Campaign strategies and tools
  • Media advocacy (tools and opportunities, media statements and interviews)
  • Legal strategies and Following the Money
  • Community engagement
  • Movement-building, collaborations and partnerships

River Guardian Profiles

International Rivers has been honored to work alongside women water leaders over the course of our 30 year history. Here, we profile the stories of women water guardians who have spent their lives protecting rivers.

Catalyzing a Clean Energy Transformation in Vietnam: Goldman Prize Winner Nguy Thi Khanh

A Warrior for China’s Free Flowing Rivers: Wang Yongchen

Everything Depends on Conservation: Macarena Soler

When We Save A River, We Save Ourselves: Betty Obbo

Nature Gives Us Hope: Latha Anantha

Because the River Told Me So: Berta Caceres