How a water system may empower women


Photo credit: IWMI

Multiple-use water services (MUS) are water delivery approaches that consider people and their multiple water needs as the starting point for designing and implementing water services. Unlike single-use water systems that are only designed for irrigation, or only for domestic uses, MUS systems are planned and implemented for multiple uses. In Kaski district, Nepal, Debhu Pariyar helps her son Rajan clean his feet at a fountain. Behind them, water taken from the same source and system is being used to irrigate tomato seedlings.

International Women’s Day: How a water system may empower women in Nepal

What does gender have to do with agricultural water management? This International Women’s Day, IWMI looks at how multiple-use water services in Nepal are helping women to become decision makers and agents of change in their communities, as well as their challenges and obstacles as we all strive toward achieving sustainable development goals and parity for the genders.


“Considering multiple uses when designing a water systems allows better responding to the diversity of needs of both men and women. The MUS approach has emerged as a promising way to enhance the social and gender equity and productivity of water systems.”

Dr. Floriane Clement, Sub-Theme Leader (Gender and Poverty), IWMI

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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