Cities Alliance is hosting an online event on 12 September in collaboration with its partner cities  Kairouan (Tunisia), Figuig (Morocco) and Sebkha (Mauritania), to mark the launch of the regional programme Women and Sustainable Cities. The initiative focuses on improving and promoting women's participation in water governance across cities in the MENA region.

Municipalities in the MENA region are confronted with climate hazards, such as droughts and floods. These challenges are further compounded by the increasing irregularities in seasonal rainfall patterns, leading to water scarcity. This complex scenario presents significant hurdles in terms of urban climate governance and the sustainable management of municipal water resources. Addressing these challenges requires the active participation of all relevant stakeholders.

Aghlabid Basins in Kairouan, Tunisia. Photo: Angela -

A crucial aspect of this participation is the engagement of local residents, particularly women, who often bear a disproportionate burden when it comes to water access and climate adaptation measures.  Their participation in shaping projects and strategies aimed at strengthening community resilience is central in the face of mounting climate risks, particularly those water-related.

The project aims to identify and address women's specific vulnerabilities to water-related risks in the partner cities. This initiative seeks to empower women in the sustainable management of water resources while supporting the three municipalities in developing gender-sensitive approaches to water governance and climate adaptation. The two-year programme is funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs.

During the webinar, Cities Alliance will launch the Women and Sustainable Cities programme at the regional level. Local stakeholders from Figuig, Sebkha and Kairouan will share their insights, challenges and innovative ideas for creating municipalities better adapted to withstand climate risks and the sustainable management of water resources. 

The discussion will also delve into the unique disparities that women often experience in this context. Experts in the field will provide a comprehensive perspective on the multifaceted challenges related to water and climate management in the region.

Speakers : 

  • Cécile Frobert, Deputy Head of Mission for Democratic Governance, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Elsa Benzaquen-Navarra, Embassy of France, Morocco
  • Elodie Martellière, Consultant to the Embassy of France, Morocco
  • Dioumanci Cissoko, Vice mayor of Sebkha, Mauritania
  • Hamadi Abdellah, Head of Public Utilities, Municipality of Kairouan, Tunisia
  • Jilal Sounni, Vice president Municipality of Figuig, Morocco
  • Widad Sadok, Senior Researcher « Initiative IMAL pour le Climat et le Développement » Morocco
  • Fatimetou Boukhreiss, Coordinator Climate Change Programme, Nouakchott, Mauritania
  • Mourad Rammeh, President « Association de Sauvegarde de la Médina de Kairouan », Tunisia
  • Leonie Grob, Project Coordinator, Cities Alliance