abstract The Policy Review reports on a gendered analysis by the Commission on Gender Equality (CGE) of water and sanitation services policies and programmes in South Africa, covering the period 2006 ? 2010, in line with the National Implementation Strategy and Action Plan for mainstreaming water into the Water Services Sector (DWAF, 2006) which will take place in May. The CGE has a constitutional obligation to monitor and evaluate all laws and policies to ensure that they treat women and men equally. Access to land, water, sanitation, transport infrastructure are used as key entry points by the CGE in poverty alleviation. The CGE recognises that gender-sensitive provision of water and sanitation services is significant because water is at the heart of economic growth and social development and is consequently a clear indicator of poverty levels. A guiding principle for the study is the existence of gender disaggregated data in the water services sector and a response to two main questions, namely: Are women benefiting equally as their male counterparts in accessing water and sanitation services and are women participating in decision-making structures and processes around the delivery of water and sanitation services? The democratically elected South African government has created an enabling environment for the promotion of gender equality through policies and legislation. The study will review the laws and policies enacted to ensure that all South Africans would obtain equitable access to water services and the international and regional conventions which South Africa has ratified to promote gender equality. The CGE, through this study, intends to determine the extent to which gender equality is attained in the water sector, and to ascertain whether or not systems have been put in place to measure progress towards the provision of water services in a gender-sensitive manner.