Women and Water Make Sustainable Food Security Happen conference

  • 12 Mar 2015
  • 15:00 - 19:00
  • Westvest 7, 2611 AX, Delft, The Netherlands, Auditorium A1b
Western Europe
Delft, The Netherlands

The theme for World Water Day 2015 is 'Water and Sustainable Development'. The theme for International Women's Day 2015 is 'Make It Happen'. Within the scope of these themes, and to show the linkages between the two, UNESCO-IHE, together with Women for Water Partnership is organizing its annual Women's Day conference with a World Water Day twist on the 12th of March.


14.30 - 15.00 hrs

15.00 - 17.00 hrs
Conference including:

Welcome by Greet Vink, UNESCO-IHE's Business Director & Mariet Verhoef Cohen, Women for Water Partnership's President 

Keynote on 'How can women control water? – Action needed to increase agriculture productivity and ensure food and nutrition security' 
by Ms. Ilaria Sisto, Gender and Development Officer at the Social Protection Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 

Keynote on 'Making Sustainable Food Security Happen' 
by Ms. Frederike Praasterink, Board of Governors & Lecturer Sustainable World Food Supply at Den Bosch University of Applied Sciences 

Keynote, working title 'Gender, water and food.' 
by Charlotte de Fraiture, Professor of Hydraulic Engineering for Land and Water Development at UNESCO-IHE

17.00 hrs +
Reception & networking

More details on the programme will be made available once the other speakers have confirmed. 


Those that wish to attend can register by sending an email to with International Women's Day conference in the title, and that includes the name(s) of person(s) that will attend.

Online coverage

For those not able to attend the conference at UNESCO-IHE in Delft, we will be providing access to the conference via livestream (click here for the direct link). The link of the recording that will be published after the event, will be made public as soon as it becomes available.

You can also join the coversation about the conference on Twitter, using hashtags #womensday and #WorldWaterDay. UNESCO-IHE's Twitter account is @UnescoIHE. 

Annual International Women's Day conference

In 2014, UNESCO-IHE organized its first International Women's Day conference. The event was so popular, especially among the student and PhD population, that it was decided to make it an annually recurring event. This year, UNESCO-IHE is co-organising the conference together with Women for Water Partnership.

Watch a recording of last year's event, read a summary, or view the photo gallery on this website page

Water is Food

The current growth rates of agricultural demands on the world’s freshwater resources are unsustainable. Inefficient use of water for crop production depletes aquifers, reduces river flows, degrades wildlife habitats, and has caused salinization of 20% of the global irrigated land area. To increase efficiency in the use of water, agriculture can reduce water losses and, most importantly, increase crop productivity with respect to water. Water is Food is one of UN Water's World Water Day topics, which is also the source of the facts above. Read more on UNESCO-IHE's research on reducing food insecurity.

Water is Equality

In developing nations the responsibility for collecting water every day falls disproportionately on women and girls. On average women in these regions spend 25 percent of their day collecting water for their families. Climate change negatively impacts fresh water sources. Combined with increased demands for water, this will create huge challenges for water resources management. Water is Equality is one of UN Water's World Water Day topics, which is also the source of the facts above. UNESCO-IHE advocates gender equality and provides solutions for integrated water resources managment.


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