EGU24-18213, updated on 11 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Inform to involve: women’s contribution to Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystems (WEFE) Nexus transition in Egypt

Bianca Maria Rizzo1, Tommaso Pacetti1, Xenia Theodotou Schneider2, Sendianah HamdyKhamis Shahin3, Basma Hassank3, and Enrica Caporali1
Bianca Maria Rizzo et al.
  • 1University of Florence, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Florence, Italy (
  • 2XPRO Consulting Limited, Strovolos, Cyprus
  • 3Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt

Local perspectives provide invaluable insights into the intricate relationships between water, energy, and food systems, ensuring that interventions are aligned with community needs. Empowering local stakeholders fosters ownership, enhances resilience, and promotes equitable resource distribution. Community engagement facilitates the integration of traditional knowledge, optimizing the effectiveness of WEFE Nexus strategies. For this, a structured participatory approach based on the RRI Roadmap©™ is necessary to ensure the  interconnectedness of these vital systems, creating a foundation for holistic, locally adapted WEFE Nexus solutions that address the complex challenges at the intersection of water, energy, food, and ecosystems.

Since women and men often have distinct roles, responsibilities, and knowledge concerning resources use, distribution, and conservation, ignoring these gender dynamics may lead to the marginalization of women and the perpetuation of existing power imbalances, as well as a lack of essential information to support the transition towards a WEFE Nexus approach. Incorporating a gender lens enhances the accuracy and effectiveness of participatory processes, ensuring an effective and lasting WEFE Nexus implementation when these diverse needs and priorities of both genders are considered.

Within the activities of the NEXUS-NESS project, women's contribution to WEFE Nexus transition in Egypt has been investigated, organizing a set of workshops with the community of Wadi Nagamish watershed. The Bedouin community in Wadi Naghamish is characterized by its deep-rooted traditions and resilient way of life. Women play a pivotal role, actively contributing to both the household and community dynamics. Despite the arid surroundings, Bedouin women in Wadi Naghamish are skilled in resourceful practices, such as water conservation and traditional crafts. They are often the guardians of cultural heritage, passing down knowledge through generations. While facing challenges, Bedouin women maintain a strong sense of identity, embodying the community's values. Their roles extend beyond the domestic sphere, influencing decision-making processes and contributing significantly to the social fabric of Wadi Naghamish.

According to Bedouin cultural norms, women cannot share a room with men, who are not strictly related to them, and this prevents them from taking part in the first participatory workshop organized to involve stakeholders in the transition towards the WEFE Nexus.

Hence, for not losing womens knowledge sharing and involvement, the NEXUS-NESS workshops held in Wadi Naghamish were structured to enhance women's engagement. Female experts conducted a tailored capacity-building program in designated spaces, fostering a positive atmosphere for Bedouin women to learn WEFE Nexus concepts and devise solutions for prevailing water challenges.

The workshops’ results provide useful insights on the roles of women concerning resource management and consequently allowing to define a gender sensitive strategy for engaging stakeholders in the transition towards a WEFE Nexus approach.

How to cite: Rizzo, B. M., Pacetti, T., Theodotou Schneider, X., HamdyKhamis Shahin, S., Hassank, B., and Caporali, E.: Inform to involve: women’s contribution to Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystems (WEFE) Nexus transition in Egypt, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-18213,, 2024.