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Gender, Water, and Nutrition in India: An Intersectional Perspective

Citation:

Mitra, Amit, and Nitya Rao. 2019. “Gender, Water, and Nutrition in India: An Intersectional Perspective.” Water Alternatives 12 (1): 169–91.

Authors: Amit Mitra, Nitya Rao

Abstract:

Despite the global recognition of women’s central role in the provision, management, and utilisation of water for production and domestic use, and despite the close links between production choices, the security of water for consumption, and gendered social relations, the implications of these interlinkages for health and nutrition are under-explored. This paper seeks to fill this gap. It unpacks the gendered pathways mediating the links between water security in all its dimensions and nutritional outcomes, based on research in 12 villages across two Indian states. The findings point to the importance of the dynamic links between natural (land and water) systems and gendered human activities, across the domains of production and reproduction, and across seasons. These links have implications for women’s work and time burdens. They impact equally on physical and emotional experiences of well-being, especially in contexts constrained by the availability, access, quality, and stability of water.

Keywords: gender, water, agriculture, nutrition, food security, India

Topics: Poverty, Gender, Women, Gender Equality/Inequality, intersectionality, Health, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods, Security Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2019

Who Carries the Water: Feminist Reflections on Anatolian Hydroelectric Power Plants, Rivers, and Resistance

Citation:

Belkis, Fatma, and İz Öztat. 2018. “Who Carries the Water: Feminist Reflections on Anatolian Hydroelectric Power Plants, Rivers, and Resistance.” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 14 (3): 368–73.

Authors: Fatma Belkis, İz Öztat

Annotation:

Summary:
"Following the Gezi Uprising in 2013, we felt the need to learn from grassroots struggles, ongoing since 1998, against the construction of small hydroelectric power plants (SHPs) on rivers in numerous valleys of Anatolia. The attempt by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government to destroy Gezi Park and the occupation that followed made clear the widespread impact of construction-led growth policies in urban and rural contexts. The anti-SHP movement’s slogan is “Rivers will flow free,” which resonated with us as a radical desire for the right to life of all beings. The slogan voices a demand for the agency of rivers and challenges state and corporate decisions to control their courses with pipes, dams, and dredging.
 
"The grassroots struggle against SHPs coincides with legislation that allows the leasing of water-use rights in rivers to private energy companies for at least fortynine years. Following the privatization “the AKP government launched an aggressive programme” whose goal was building “2,000 small (and large) hydropower plants by 2023, the centennial of the Turkish Republic”(Erensu and Karaman 2017, 14). Governments, corporations, and banks frame SHPs as renewable energy production solutions that facilitate “development,” but in Turkey, as in many other places, their implementation involves removing the water from its bed and running it through pipes to feed multiple turbines, which deprives all living creatures in the ecosystem of their life source.
 
"Our collaborative installation work Who Carries the Water (Belkıs and Öztat 2015) took form as we visited valleys where residents resist the process of dispossession that ensues with the construction of SHPs" (Belkis and Öztat 2018, 368-9).

Topics: Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods, Privatization Regions: MENA, Asia, Europe, Southern Europe

Year: 2018

Re-Conceptualising Gender and Urban Water Inequality: Applying a Critical Feminist Approach to Water Inequality in Dhaka

Citation:

Sulley, Rosa. 2018. "Re-Conceptualising Gender and Urban Water Inequality Applying a Critical Feminist Approach to Water Inequality in Dhaka." DPU Working Paper No. 195, Development Planning Unit, The Bartlett, University College London.

Author: Rosa Sulley

Abstract:

Commonly, urban water inequality has been conceptualised in scholarship and policy as a fixed issue; little attention has been given to dynamic changes over time, space, identity, and relations. Influenced by traditional feminist critiques of development and of who suffers the responsibilities of water management, the consequence has been a focus on women. However, gender mainstreaming approaches aiming to empower women are often critiqued for (re)producing static narratives, and overlooking the multiple experiences and processes of (re)production of inequality. This paper places itself within this debate, aiming to enhance analytical approaches to studying urban water inequality and challenge pervasive simplified, homogenised accounts of urban water inequality. Through critical application of recent conceptual shifts in feminist theorising, it brings together Feminist Political Ecology and Intersectionality literatures to formulate a framework for analysis of urban water inequality. This explores the role and importance of relational subjectivities, power dynamics, hydrosocial relations, and dynamic relations across and within micro and macro scales. The paper focuses on how these dynamics manifest in Dhaka's informal settlements. Bangladesh shows the complex and multi-layered nature of both how water inequality is (re)produced, and how people negotiate it in their everyday lives. The insights, particularly findings of informal and formal fluidity, are then reflected upon in relation to the framework and future research agendas.

Topics: Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Political Economies Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2018

Masculinities and Hydropower in India: A Feminist Political Ecology Perspective

Citation:

Shrestha, Gitta, Deepa Joshi, and Floriane Clement. 2019. "Masculinities and Hydropower in India: A Feminist Political Ecology Perspective." International Journal of the Commons 13 (1): 130-52.

Authors: Gitta Shrestha, Deepa Joshi, Floriane Clement

Abstract:

Mainstreaming gender in water governance through “how to do gender” toolkits has long been a development focus. It has been widely argued that such toolkits simplify the complex, nuanced realities of inequalities by gender in relation to water and fail to pay attention to the fact that the proposed users of such gender-water toolkits, i.e. mostly male water sector professionals, lack the skills, motivation and/or incentives to apply these toolkits in their everyday work. We adopt a feminist political ecology lens to analyse some of the barriers to reduce social inequalities in the management of global commons such as international rivers. Our findings highlight the leap of faith made in the belief that gender toolkits, as they exist, will filter through layers of a predominantly masculine institutional culture to enable change in ground realities of complex inequalities by gender. Analysing the everyday workings of two hydropower development organisations in India, we show how organisational structures demonstrate a blatant culture of masculinity. These two organisations, like many others, are sites where hierarchies and inequalities based on gender are produced, performed and reproduced. This performance of masculinity promotes and rewards a culture of technical pride in re-shaping nature, abiding by and maintaining hierarchy and demonstrating physical strength and emotional hardiness. In such a setting, paying attention to vulnerabilities, inequalities and disparities are incompatible objectives.

Keywords: feminist political ecology, gender, global commons, hydropower, masculinities, India

Topics: Development, Environment, Extractive Industries, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Political Economies Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2019

'Just Women’ Is Not Enough: Towards a Gender-Relational Approach to Water and Peacebuilding

Citation:

Schilling, Janpeter, Rebecca Froese, and Jana Naujoks. 2018. “‘Just Women’ Is Not Enough: Towards a Gender-Relational Approach to Water and Peacebuilding.” In Water Security Across the Gender Divide, edited by Christiane Fröhlich, Giovanna Gioli, Roger Cremades, and Henri Myrttinen, 173–96. Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Authors: Janpeter Schilling, Rebecca Froese, Jana Naujoks

Abstract:

Gender is a topic that every large development and peacebuilding organisation mainstreams in its programming. However, often “gender” implies a focus on women. We argue that this is not enough to utilise the full potential of a meaningful and effective integration of gender in specific projects, particularly in the peacebuilding and the water sector. The aim of this chapter is therefore to develop a first gender-relational approach to water and peacebuilding that will help researchers, practitioners and policy makers to better understand and integrate the multiple dimensions of gender. To achieve this aim, we first explore the main trends in and connections between gender on the one side and peacebuilding and the water sector on the other side, before we identify key gaps and crosscutting themes. Against this background, we develop a gender-relational approach based on questions to guide the integration of gender into water and peacebuilding. Our main method is a comprehensive review of the relevant academic literature and reports by key donors, and international development and peacebuilding organisations. Further, we draw on examples from Kenya and Nepal to conclude that a gender-relational approach to water and peacebuilding needs to go beyond a focus on “just women”. There is a need to incorporate heterosexual women and men, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons (LGBTI), explore the relations within and between these groups and include other identity markers in the analysis in order to generate a nuanced understanding of complex situations, and to develop effective programming in peacebuilding and the water sector.

Keywords: gender, water, peacebuilding, approach, Kenya, Nepal

Topics: Gender, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, LGBTQ, Peacebuilding Regions: Africa, East Africa, Asia, South Asia Countries: Kenya, Nepal

Year: 2018

Incorporating Gender into Low-Emission Development: A Case Study from Vietnam

Citation:

Farnworth, Cathy Rozel, Trần Thu Hà, Björn Ole Sander, Eva Wollenberg, Nicoline C. de Haan, and Shawn McGuire. 2017. “Incorporating Gender into Low-Emission Development: A Case Study from Vietnam.” Gender, Technology and Development 21 (1-2): 5-30.

Authors: Cathy Rozel Farnworth, Trần Thu Hà, Björn Ole Sander, Eva Wollenberg, Nicoline C. de Haan, Shawn McGuire

Abstract:

Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agriculture is needed to meet global climate policy targets. A number of low emission development (LED) options exist in agriculture, which globally emits 10–12% of GHG emissions. In paddy rice production, alternative wetting and drying (AWD) can reduce emissions by up to 48%. Co-benefits of AWD include lower water consumption, lower use of fertilizer and seeds, and higher resistance to some pests and diseases. These are expected to result in improved benefits for individual farmers while lowering the sector’s overall contribution to GHG emissions. Women are strongly involved in rice production, hence improving their access to AWD technology, participation in decisions about it, and capacity to use it influences AWD adoption and resulting emissions. Involving women in AWD and LED more broadly also can provide distributional and procedural justice gains for women. The authors develop a conceptual model to show how these issues can be integrated. They suggest that intermediary organizations such as farmer associations and women’s organizations are central to enabling women to realize their personal goals while allowing gender to be taken to scale in LED, as is the case for other technology interventions. This requires work to expand their social capacities. A case study developed from work on taking gender-responsive LED to scale in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam, illustrates the model.

Keywords: low-emission development, alternative wetting and drying, rice, Vietnam, gender

Topics: Development, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Households, Infrastructure, Livelihoods, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Vietnam

Year: 2017

Women’s Experiences of Food Insecurity and Coping Strategies in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh

Citation:

Ali, H. M. Ashraf, and Helen Vallianatos. 2017. “Women’s Experiences of Food Insecurity and Coping Strategies in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh.” Ecology of Food and Nutrition 56 (6): 462-78. 

Authors: H.M. Ashraf Ali, Helen Vallianatos

Abstract:

Despite advances in food production and distribution technologies, global food insecurity continues throughout parts of South Asia. Using ethnographic data collected from the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) in Bangladesh, this article reports on gendered and ethnocultural variations in experiences of food insecurity. Three key findings are that (1) regardless of ethnicity, the majority of the households in this study suffered moderate food insecurity; (2) food insecurity was higher among female-headed households; and (3) women’s means of coping strategies varied depending on household structure and ethnic identity. It is argued that indigenous women’s coping strategies were protective in comparison with Bengali women’s experiences.

Keywords: Bangladesh, CHT, coping strategies, food insecurity, women

Topics: Environment, Gender, Women, Households, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2017

Gender Equity, Citizenship and Public Water in Bangladesh

Citation:

Sultana, Farhana, Chandra Talpade Mohanty, and Sarah Miraglia. 2016. “Gender Equity, Citizenship and Public Water in Bangladesh.” In Making Public in a Privatized World: The Struggle for Essential Services, edited by David McDonald, 149-64. London: Zed Books Ltd.

Authors: Farhana Sultana, Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Sarah Miraglia

Annotation:

Summary:
“This study underscores the significance of a gendered perspective, the need to focus on women’s lived realities, and the importance of analyzing how politics of place shape access, delivery and preferences for public water. The study affirms equity, affordability, sustainability, and efficiency as generally desirable aspects of public water provision, but questions the means of creating and evaluating public systems to achieve these goals, and warns against entrenching local power hierarchies or further marginalizing the poor or exacerbating their exploitation. The study argues that attention to gender, experience, and place is crucial to any conceptualization of public service and water justice” (Sultana et al. 2016, 150).

Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Governance, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Political Economies Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2016

Water Development Projects and Marital Violence: Experiences From Rural Bangladesh

Citation:

Rabiul Karim, K. M., Maria Emmelin, Bernadette P. Resurreccion, and Sarah Wamala. 2012. “Water Development Projects and Marital Violence: Experiences From Rural Bangladesh.” Health Care for Women International 33 (3): 200–16.

Authors: K.M. Rabiul Karim, Maria Emmelin, Bernadette P. Resurreccion, Sarah Wamala

Abstract:

In this study, we explored the implications of a groundwater development project on women's workload and their experience of marital violence in a Bangladesh village. We believe that the project facilitated irrigation water but also that it resulted in seasonal domestic water shortages. Men used deep motorized pumps for irrigation, and women used shallow handpumps for domestic purposes. Many handpumps dried out, so women had to walk to distant wells. This increased their workload and challenged their possibilities of fulfilling household obligations, thereby increasing the risk of normative marital male violence against women as a punishment for their failure.

Topics: Development, Gender, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Gender-Based Violence, Households, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2012

Seasonal Water Insecurity in Urban Philippines: Examining the Role of Gender, Resources, and Context

Citation:

Mason, Lisa Reyes. 2013. “Seasonal Water Insecurity in Urban Philippines: Examining the Role of Gender, Resources, and Context.” PhD diss., Washington University in St. Louis.

Author: Lisa Reyes Mason

Abstract:

Seasonal water insecurity is a complex problem of growing concern in many urban areas, due in part to urbanization, population growth, and environmental change. Using multiple research methods, this study documents the extent and nature of seasonal water insecurity among and within households in an urban neighborhood in Baguio City, the Philippines. This study also examines how individual and household factors--gender and financial, physical, and social resources--and contextual factors may relate to water insecurity by season. Data collection methods include archival research, informal interviews, randomly-sampled household surveys: N=396), randomly-sampled individual subsurveys: N=291), and in-depth interviews: N=18).
 
This study conceptualizes and measures water insecurity along three dimensions: quantity, quality, and accessibility of water for everyday household and individual use. Key findings are that water insecurity varies widely among households in the study neighborhood, and to some extent, within households. These differences are more pronounced in the dry than rainy season. Household financial and physical resources are associated with some dimensions of water insecurity, also with seasonal variation. In general, quantitative methods in this study find few associations between water insecurity and gender or household social resources; relationships among these variables are found, however, using qualitative methods. Neighborhood and municipal factors such as geography, water utility characteristics, and population and environment trends are discussed.
 
This study contributes an important documentation of the heterogeneities in water insecurity that exist among a population and which are often masked by municipal, regional, and national statistics. Study findings also have implications for programs and policies designed to bolster the factors associated with reduced water insecurity by season--in urban areas of the Philippines, and in other countries expecting to experience seasonal water insecurity for the first time or to a greater extent than in the past.

Topics: Development, Environment, Gender, Governance, Households, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Philippines

Year: 2013

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