Cities Alliance and ECDPM host the hybrid workshop 'Empower a Woman With Water and She Can Change Her City: A Focus on MENA'. The event will offer a unique opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of gender-specific challenges regarding water scarcity and access in urban areas. It will also feature the launch of Cities Alliance's new regional programme on water governance and women empowerment in Morocco, Tunisia, and Mauritania, supported by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs.

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is among the most severely impacted by water scarcity, with 11 out of 17 of the world's most water-stressed countries located in this area. For instance, Tunisia and Morocco are currently facing a significant decrease in freshwater resources, ranging from 40% to 80%.


Women, regardless of their age, are particularly vulnerable to water stress since they typically assume responsibility for the family's water supply.


Despite playing a vital role in providing food security and livelihoods, women's capacity to manage this resource is often limited due to cultural, social, and economic factors. Moreover, climate change exacerbates water stress, posing additional challenges to the already disadvantaged population.

During the workshop, government representatives, development practitioners, and EU institutions will come together to discuss ways to promote women's leadership and participation in urban water governance in the region.

Opening remarks: Greg Munro, Director, Cities Alliance

Moderation: Hanne Knaepen, Head of Climate Action and Green Transition, ECDPM


  • Giulia Maci, Gender Specialist, Manager Euro-Mediterranean region, Cities Alliance
  • Manar Mahasneh, Secretary General, Jordan Valley Authority  
  • Charafat Afailal, Former Minister in charge of water, Expert on water and climate, Morocco
  • Guillaume Fine, Deputy Head of Unit, North Africa, DG NEAR, European Commission

Debate with key interventions: 

  • H.E. Saja Majali, Ambassador, Embassy of Jordan in Belgium
  • Cecile Frobert, Deputy Head of Mission Democratic Governance, Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, France
  • Almotaz Abadi, Deputy Secretary General for Water, Environment and Blue Economy, Union for the Mediterranean
  • Rafik Hiahemzizou, Foreign Affairs Adviser, Embassy of Algeria
  • Mikael Elofsson, Counsellor and Sida Coordinator, Permanent Representation of Sweden to the EU






Event Info
Event Date
Event Location
UN House, Boulevard du Regent, 37/40, Brussels