On Tuesday 31 July, 150 people joined the third edition of Water on Tap at De Gist. This was a special edition co-organised by Blue Dinks, the Hague. Water on Tap seeks to bring greater awareness about water issues to the broader Delft community. Water experts from IHE Delft and beyond were invited to talk about vital local, national and international issues, as well as raise key questions for sustainably managing this essential resource for current and future generations. The 3rd session edition discussed the topic of Women and Water, keynote speakers were: Margreet Zwarteveen and Hala Alhamed.
Women and Water
In the first talk Margreet Zwarteveen discussed some of the stereotypes that certain water jobs have. For example, she showed a photo and mentioned that in Sri Lanka transplanting paddy was, according to many, a women’s job because women have nimble fingers and they are better at bending over the whole day. Then, Margreet showed another photo, again of people transplanting paddy, but this time there were men on the photo. She said that in Bangladesh, according to many, transplanting paddy was a men’s job because men have more strength and resilience. In the end, Margreet reflected on the fact that having a ‘man’s job’ or a ‘woman’s job’ is not fixed, the same job can be defined as masculine or as feminine depending on where you are. To sum-up it depends on culture and history.
In the second talk Hala Alhamed discussed her experiences as a Syrian woman in water jobs in the Netherlands and beyond. She reflected on the challenges to grow as a water professional in a male dominated sector. She concluded that successful women in high ranking water job positions should be recognized not only for working as hard as men but also for breaking with stereotypes and discriminatory behaviour in many circumstances.
In between talks all the participants enjoyed pub trivias where winners won rounds of beers. In the end there was also a networking session organised by Blue Drinks, the Hague. To sum-up, it was a great evening of sharing, learning and fun. The next Water on Tap will be held on 28 August from 20.00 to 22.00. Tell your friends! All ages and backgrounds are welcome. The entry is free and no reservation is needed.
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