March 2015: Empowering Women and Girls: Celebrating Cowater’s work in Gender Equality

For over 30 years, Cowater has successfully implemented projects in developing and transitioning countries with a focus on promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls. Our projects have integrated robust gender equality strategies that have ensured the achievement of sustainable results across a variety of development sectors, including: health, education, water and sanitation, public financial management, local governance and economic development. We have developed approaches, methodologies, and tools to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment in the most difficult of places.

March 8 is International Women’s Day – a time to celebrate progress made and take stock of the changes to come. This year’s theme, “Empowering Women – Empowering Humanity: Picture It!” promotes a world where women and girls have the choice to get an education, participate in politics, earn personal income, receive improved service delivery, and live in an environment free of discrimination and violence.

Cowater works at multiple levels – with governments, on strengthening the national and sub-national machinery to advance women’s empowerment and gender mainstreaming -– as well as with civil society organizations, private sector, and local communities, to strengthen women’s capacity to become meaningful development actors and agents of change.

Among others, Cowater is implementing the DFAT-funded Citizen Engagement for Social Service Delivery (CESSD) Project in Pakistan. This project is working in 11 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Province, creating a space for women and men to support women’s rise to leadership, bridging gaps at the community level. To date, CESSD has provided access to education to over 7,700 women and girls; and gender equality training to 2,000 local government employees.

We are also implementing the DFAT-funded Empowering Indonesian Women for Poverty Reduction (MAMPU) Program in Indonesia, where we work with local Indonesian civil society organizations, parliamentarians and local governments to positively influence policy and decision-making to bring about meaningful reforms that will increase access to critical services and livelihoods for women and girls.

At Cowater, we believe that the empowerment of women and girls is critical to reducing poverty and achieving prosperous growth. In line with the post 2015 international development agenda, we will continue our efforts to promote women’s voice and agency for a better tomorrow.