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For so long women have represented the symbol of resilience. In the water sector they are no different. In the Middle East and North Africa, the world’s most water-stressed region, women are playing their part in protecting water and fighting water scarcity.
This project was initiated during the CMI's World Water Day Youth Workshop: Nature-based Solutions for a Water Secure Mediterranean in 2018 and contuinued during the CMI World Water Day 2019 Regional Youth Workshop: Water and Migration in 2019.
Check out the pictures in full resolution, here!
"Growing up in a small village in Palestine, we lived in a society that imposed rules on the way a woman should lead her life.
As a researcher in the water sector, my goals were to be internationally recognized for my work and to continue learning from new experiences worldwide.
I was committed to pursuing those goals and by doing so, I broke the stereotypes about what Palestinian rural women are capable of achieving."
Rinad Hamed, Winner of the CMI WaterHeroes Contest, Palestine
"As a woman, it is really exciting for me to see women in my country increasingly choosing to work in the water sector and contributing actively and passionately to solving the issue of water scarcity in the Mediterranean region.
The next step and our challenge, now, is to take on leadership roles which have long been dominated by men. We are as committed and as capable as men are to lead and achieve success"
Rita Amaral, Young Water Professionals, Portugal
"The common misconception about women is that we are not capable of being as dedicated to our work as our male colleagues are.
Usually the assumption is that our family responsibilities prevent us from being as efficient.
As a working woman, I have managed to excel at my work while also being present for my family. It is a challenge that a man doesn't have to face!"
Zeineb Ettih, Head of the Migration Department at the Tunisian Institute of Peace and Conflicts Studies, Winner of WaterHeroes Contest, Tunisia
"As a women, I think we were born disadvantaged. We were always told to be passive, not to take risks and never encouraged to be confident, which makes it hard to compete in a male-dominated field, like the water sector.
So, though I always felt I needed to prove myself more than my male colleagues, I remained persistent to show that I was as confident and as capable of taking risks as they were!"
Fatine Ezbakhe, Civil Engineer Specialized in Water, MedYWat Member, Morocco
"Central Asia has a reputation of being a male-dominated region. In the water sector, this rings especially true.
All government institutions involved in water management are often controlled by aging men leaving no space for the ideas and perspectives of women.
I am determined to prove that as a young woman working in the water sector, I bring as much value as my male colleagues do"
Lyazzat Syrlybaeva, Coordinator of the Youth Empowerment for Water Network in Central Asia, Kazakhstan.
"As agricultural researchers, we often do a lot of field studies, which for me was always a challenge because, as a woman working in a male-dominated environment,
I was always underestimated on the basis of my gender, solely!
There was always a doubt about my capacity to work in difficult landscapes, yet I have always managed to prove those doubts to be completely unjustified"
Ines Gasmi, PhD Student in Agricultural Sciences, MedYWat Membership Coordinator, Tunisia
Our first source of knowledge is often the women in our lives who, through stories and tales, would teach how to be and act better.
The Maghreb Storytellers is an all-female project, training women from various backgrounds across the Maghreb region, in the art of storytelling, empowering them to continue passing down this knowledge about sustainable water use.
Les Conteuses Du Maghreb
 The Mediterranean Youth for water (MedYWat) It is a community of young water professionals from different backgrounds working on water in the Mediterranean managed by the Center for Mediterranean Integration Marseille. This group was launched during the first Wold Water Day youth workshop on treated wastewater reuse (Marseille, March 2017).