It is argued that projects and programs designed to meet the practical needs of men, women, and children in communities should also focus on meeting the strategic gender needs of women. This paper shows what project planners can do to ensure women¿s participation in the design and maintenance of development projects without increasing their workloads, and with the goal of raising their status in the family and society, as well as challenging men's prejudice. It utilizes the framework of strategic and practical gender needs in the context of the drinking-water sector, to argue that understanding how these needs are linked is important to the sustainability of drinking-water projects. Overall, this paper pointed out the great need to involve women in the management of water projects in order for it to be effective in reducing the burdens of the people. Moreover, all development initiatives, including improvements in water supply, should have explicit focus on improving women status and increasing their confidence. Meeting such gender needs requires real commitment from concerned individuals on all levels as well as budgetary provision to enhance the capacity of the involved sector, and heighten their awareness. Fulfillment of their strategic gender needs, will in turn, contribute to the sustainability of water projects.