The Working for Water (WfW) programme is one of the Expanded Public Works Programmes (EPWP) housed within the South African Department of Water Affairs and Forestry. As both the EPWP and WfW programme focus strongly on the employment of women, this paper conducts a gender analysis of the WfW project. This is done by applying a specific framework to six thematic focus areas: institutional issues; funding; poverty alleviation; contract development; social development; and training. An added level of importance for the analysis of the WfW programme is linked to its uniqueness in the South African context, as it links environmental, poverty and gender issues. The analysis showed that while the WfW programme was successful in targeting women workers, it reflects a very narrow conception of gender. A much broader conceptualisation of gender therefore needs to be applied at all levels when poverty programmes of this nature are designed.