Gender Dimensions of Community-Managed Water Systems


Salimi, Kate. 2015. “Gender Dimensions of Community-Managed Water Systems: Gender-Water Realities in Peri-Urban Cochabamba, Bolivia.” Thesis, Université d’Ottawa / University of Ottawa.

Author: Kate Salimi


This thesis examines women’s participation in community-managed water systems in peri-urban Cochabamba, Bolivia based on fieldwork conducted from June-August 2013. Informed by a Feminist political ecology framework, this thesis demonstrates that there are key gendered differences in experiences with water because women are the primary managers of water in the home, and their labour, time and livelihoods are significantly impacted by the lack of safe water. By unearthing women’s experiences and opinions from a number of water committees, networked systems of water should be considered part of a ‘feminist agenda’ as having access to networked water systems decreases women’s physical workloads and the costs of household water.  However, while networked water systems are not perfect from a gendered perspective as male community members hold most of the decision-making positions, alliances with progressive NGOs play an important role within Cochabamba’s waterscape as they promote a politics of equity and encourage women to see themselves as vocal subjects, able to define and defend their gender interests.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, NGOs, Rights Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Bolivia

Year: 2015

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