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Water & Sanitation

Safe Access to Safe Water in Low Income Countries: Water Fetching in Current Times

Citation:

Sorenson, Susan B., Christiaan Morssink, and Paola Abril Campos. 2011. “Safe Access to Safe Water in Low Income Countries: Water Fetching in Current Times.” Social Science & Medicine 72 (9): 1522–6. 

Authors: Susan B. Sorenson, Christiaan Morssink, Paola Abril Campos

Abstract:

A substantial portion of the world's population does not have ready access to safe water. Moreover, obtaining water may involve great expense of time and energy for those who have no water sources in or near home. From an historical perspective, with the invention of piped water, fetching water has only recently become largely irrelevant in many locales. In addition, in most instances, wells and clean surface water were so close by that fetching was not considered a problem. However, population growth, weather fluctuations and social upheavals have made the daily chore of carrying water highly problematic and a public health problem of great magnitude for many, especially women, in the poor regions and classes of the world. In this paper, we consider gender differences in water carrying and summarize data about water access and carrying from 44 countries that participated in the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) program. Women and children are the most common water carriers, and they spend considerable time (many trips take more than an hour) supplying water to their households. Time is but one measure of the cost of fetching water; caloric expenditures, particularly during droughts, and other measures that affect health and quality of life must be considered. The full costs of fetching water must be considered when measuring progress toward two Millennium Development Goals--increasing access to safe drinking water and seeking an end to poverty.

Keywords: economic development, gender, Low-income countries, public health, sex differences, water, water carrying, women's health

Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Health, Households, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, International Organizations, Livelihoods

Year: 2011

Public Infrastructure and Private Costs: Water Supply and Time Allocation of Women in Rural Pakistan

Citation:

Ilahi, Nadeem, and Franque Grimard. 2000. “Public Infrastructure and Private Costs: Water Supply and Time Allocation of Women in Rural Pakistan.” Economic Development and Cultural Change 49 (1): 45–75.

Authors: Nadeem Ilahi, Franque Grimard

Annotation:

Summary
"The critical role that women play in alleviating poverty and promoting development has been receiving increasing attention. In developing countries, for example, women's role is critical in improving the nutritional and educational levels of their children. In addition, women are major contributors to household production activities, both in monetary and nonmonetary ways. Despite this, women's access to resources has been limited, especially in contrast to that of men" (Ilahi and Grimard 2000, 45). 
 
"Our objective in this article was to focus on the relationship between access to water - both at the community and household levels - and the time allocation of women, who have the  primary responsibility for water collection. We found that changes in the availability of water infrastructure affect time use at two levels - that of the household and that of the individual within the household. Our results show that improvements in water-supply infrastructure would lower the total time women spend in all activities, with a substitution of water collection for income generating activities. Investments in such infrastructure would not only lower the total work burden of women, but it would also change the nature of women's contribution to the household - from performing every-day chores to doing income-generating work" (67).

Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Pakistan

Year: 2000

Local Organisation and Gender in Water Management: A Case Study from the Kenya Highlands

Citation:

Were, Elizabeth, Jessica Roy, and Brent Swallow. 2008. “Local Organisation and Gender in Water Management: A Case Study from the Kenya Highlands.” Journal of International Development 20 (1): 69–81.

Authors: Elizabeth Were, Jessica Roy, Brent Swallow

Abstract:

Provision of safe water supplies is a priority for the global community and for villages in Kenya. An extended case study from the highlands of Western Kenya shows that local communities can be successful in self‐organisation for improved water supply, but only by mobilising considerable amounts of investment resources and local collective action. Gender relations are crucial to success, with women having primary responsibility for water management, but more or less hidden roles in community groups. There are legitimate concerns that Kenya's new water laws and institutions may make it more difficult for local community groups to self‐organise, with additional biases against women.

Keywords: water, springs, women, gender, collective action, Kipsigis, legal pluralism, africa

Topics: Development, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Political Participation Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2008

Introduction: Global Perspectives on Gender–Water Geographies

Citation:

O’Reilly, Kathleen, Sarah Halvorson, Farhana Sultana, and Nina Laurie. 2009. “Introduction: Global Perspectives on Gender–Water Geographies.” Gender, Place & Culture 16 (4): 381–5. 

Authors: Kathleen O'Reilly, Sarah Halvorson, Farhana Sultana, Nina Laurie

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT
This introduction summarizes the work featured in the themed section of Gender, Place and Culture titled ‘Global geographies of gender and water’. It brings into dialogue scholars investigating a variety of gender–water relationships at different scales, including: poisoned waterscapes; fishing practices; and the implications of neoliberal water policies. The authors featured purposefully engage with the multi-faceted ways in which experiences, discourses and policies of water are gendered, and how gender is created through processes of access, use and control of water resources. In bringing these articles together, we have consciously aimed to support inclusive, feminist collaborative work and to prioritize diversity.
 
SPANISH ABSTRACT
Esta introducción resume el trabajo presentado en la sección temática de Gender, Place and Culture titulada “Geografías globales de género y agua.” Reúne a académicos investigando una variedad de relaciones género-agua a diferentes escalas, incluyendo: paisajes de agua contaminados; prácticas de pesca; y las implicancias de las políticas neoliberales de agua. Los autores presentados se ocupan expresamente de las multifacéticas formas en que las experiencias, discursos y políticas de agua están generizadas, y de cómo el género es creado a través de procesos de acceso, uso y control de los recursos de agua. Reuniendo estos artículos hemos apuntado concientemente a apoyar el trabajo inclusivo, feminista y colaborativo, y a priorizar la diversidad.
 
JAPANESE ABSTRACT

Keywords: gender, water, neoliberalism, nature-society, modernity, agua, neoliberalismo, naturaleza-sociedad, modernidad, gênero

Topics: Development, Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gendered Discourses, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods

Year: 2009

Gendered Waters: The Participation of Women in the ‘One Million Cisterns’ Rainwater Harvesting Program in the Brazilian Semi-Arid Region

Citation:

de Moraes, Andrea Ferreira Jacques, and Cecilia Rocha. 2013. “Gendered Waters: The Participation of Women in the ‘One Million Cisterns’ Rainwater Harvesting Program in the Brazilian Semi-Arid Region.” Journal of Cleaner Production 60 (December): 163–9.

Authors: Andrea Ferreira Jacques de Moraes, Cecilia Rocha

Abstract:

Women, especially in developing countries, are often responsible for managing water at the household level. However, they are rarely represented in bodies that decide on water management, and they hardly play a role in the implementation of projects to increase water access. While the need for enhanced gender equity in water management is acknowledged in the international development discourse, the complexities of implementing it are poorly understood. This article presents a qualitative case study of women participation in the Program ‘One Million Cisterns’ in the Brazilian Semi-Arid region, to illustrate the promise and the challenges of bringing about women's participation and empowering. The case study shows that women not only derived significant material benefits from the program (access to water), they also acquired roles and responsibilities - as cistern builders and as members of local water commissions - that traditionally had been reserved for men. Key for this transformational process, we argue, was the role played by local feminist NGOs and social movements who helped rural women create new spaces for social inclusion in water development.

Keywords: water management, gender and development, Latin America, Brazil, Women and water, gender inequality, Rainwater harvesting

Topics: Development, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Governance, Households, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods, NGOs Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Brazil

Year: 2013

Fluid Lives: Subjectivities, Gender and Water in Rural Bangladesh

Citation:

Sultana, Farhana. 2009. “Fluid Lives: Subjectivities, Gender and Water in Rural Bangladesh.” Gender, Place & Culture 16 (4): 427–44.

Author: Farhana Sultana

Abstract:

This article seeks to contribute to the emerging debates in gender–water and gender–nature literatures by looking at the ways that gendered subjectivities are simultaneously (re)produced by societal, spatial and natural/ecological factors, as well as materialities of the body and of heterogeneous waterscapes. Drawing from fieldwork conducted in Bangladesh on arsenic contamination of drinking water, the article looks at the ways that gender relations are influenced by not just direct resource use/control/access and the implications of different types of waters, but also by the ideological constructs of masculinity/femininity, which can work in iterative ways to influence how people relate to different kinds of water. Conflicts and struggles over water inflect gendered identities and sense of self, where both men and women participate in reproducing and challenging prevailing norms and practices. As a result, multiple social and ecological factors interact in complex and interlinked ways to complicate gender–water relations, whereby socio-spatial subjectivities are re/produced in water management and end up reinforcing existing inequities. The article demonstrates that gender–water relations are not just intersected by social axes, as generally argued by feminist scholars, but also by ecological change and spatial relations vis-à-vis water, where simultaneously socialized, ecologized, spatialized and embodied subjectivities are produced and negotiated in everyday practices.

Keywords: gender, water, aresenic, Bangladesh, Subjectivity

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Analysis, Femininity/ies, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Political Economies Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2009

Coping with History and Hydrology: How Kenya's Settlement and Land Tenure Patterns Shape Contemporary Water Rights and Gender Relations in Water

Citation:

Onyango, Leah, Brent Swallow, Jessica L. Roy, and Ruth Meinzen-Dick. 2007. “Coping with History and Hydrology: How Kenya’s Settlement and Land Tenure Patterns Shape Contemporary Water Rights and Gender Relations in Water.” In Community-Based Water Law and Water Resource Management Reform in Developing Countries, edited by Barbara van Koppen, Mark Giordano, and John Butterworth, 173–95. Oxfordshire: CAB International.

Authors: Leah Onyango, Brent Swallow, Jessica L. Roy, Ruth Meinzen-Dick

Abstract:

Like many other African countries described in this volume, Kenya has recently enacted several new policies and public-sector reforms that affect its water sector. This chapter considers those reforms in the context of the country's particular history of land tenure and settlement, a history that continues to have a profound influence on contemporary patterns of land and water management as well as on gender relations in water. The chapter focuses on the particular case of a river basin in Western Kenya, the Nyando river basin (3517 km 2), that has its outlet in Lake Victoria. Over the last century, the Nyando river basin has experienced a history that has shaped spatial patterns of land tenure, settlement and water management. The plural land management systems that exist in the basin today are the product of three distinct periods of historical change: (i) the pre-colonial era that was dominated by customary landholding and land rights systems; (ii) the colonial era in which large areas of land were alienated for specific users and the majority of the Kenyan population confined to native reserve areas; and (iii) the post-colonial era that has encouraged large-scale private ownership of land by men and a small public-sector ownership of irrigation land, all against the backdrop of customary norms and the colonial pattern of settlement and land use. Both colonial and post-colonial institutions have largely disre-garded women's rights to land and water resources. Although customary norms are consistent in ensuring access to water for all members of particular ethnic groups, in practice access and management of water points vary across the basin depending upon the historically defined pattern of landownership and settlement. Customary norms that secure the rights of women to water resources tend to have most impact in former native reserve areas and least impact in ethnically heterogeneous resettlement areas held under leasehold tenure. Recommendations are made on how new policies, legislation and government institutions could be more effec-tive in promoting the water needs of rural communities in Kenya.

Keywords: legal pluralism, land tenure, water tenure, gender roles, integrated natural resource management, Property Rights, policy framework, community participation

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Development, Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2007

Community Organized Household Water Increases Not Only Rural Incomes, but Also Men’s Work

Citation:

Crow, Ben, Brent Swallow, and Isabella Asamba. 2012. “Community Organized Household Water Increases Not Only Rural Incomes, but Also Men’s Work.” World Development 40 (3): 528–41.

Authors: Ben Crow, Brent Swallow, Isabella Asamba

Keywords: gender, collective action, water management, impact assessment, Lake Victoria, Kenya

Annotation:

Summary
This paper explores community-organized, household water supply in seven communities in western Kenya. We compare water use, labor use, income and the conditions for collective action in three sets of communities: two have protected springs and piped homestead connections; two have protected springs but no homestead connection; and three draw potentially contaminated water from unprotected springs.
 
We find that piped water reduces the work of women and girls, and facilitates home garden and livestock production. Together these changes lead to increased household incomes. Women recognize clear time-benefits. Men, however, experience extra work.
 
No overall pattern emerges regarding the preconditions for collective action.

Topics: Development, Gender, Gender Roles, Households, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2012

Water Security Across the Gender Divide

Citation:

Fröhlich, Christiane, Giovanna Gioli, Roger Cremades, and Henri Myrttinen. 2018. Water Security Across the Gender Divide. Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Authors: Christiane Fröhlich, Giovanna Gioli, Roger Cremades, Henri Myrttinen

Annotation:

Summary:
This book examines water security as a prime example of how the economic, socio-cultural and political-normative systems that regulate access to water reflect the evolving and gendered power relations between different societal groups. Access to water is characterized by inequalities: it depends not only on natural water availability, but also on the respective socio-political context. It is regulated by gender-differentiated roles and responsibilities towards the resource, which are strongly influenced by, among others, tradition, religion, customary law, geographical availability, as well as the historical and socio-political context. While gender has been recognized as a key intervening variable in achieving equitable water access, most studies fail to acknowledge the deep interrelations between social structures and patterns of water use. Proof of these shortcomings is the enduring lack of data on water accessibility, availability and utilization that sufficiently acknowledges the relational nature of gender and other categories of power and difference, like class and socioeconomic status, as well as their comprehensive analysis. This book addresses this major research gap. (Summary from Springer International Publishing)
 
Table of Contents:
1. Bridging Troubled Waters: Water Security Across the Gender Divide
Henri Myrttinen, Roger Cremades, Christiane Fröhlich and Giovanna Gioli
 
2. Gender and Water in a Changing Climate: Challenges and Opportunities
Farhana Sultana
 
3. More than Women and Men: A Framework for Gender and Intersectionality Research on Environmental Crisis and Conflict
Amber J. Fletcher
 
4. Gender and Water in the Middle East. Local and Global Realities
Mauro van Aken and Anita De Donato
 
5. Land and Water Reforms in South Africa: "Men in White Coats"
Deepa Joshi, Natasha Donn-Arnold, and Mart Kamphuis
 
6. Integrating Gender Equality in WASH Emergency Response in the Central African Republic 
Beatrice Mosello, Virginie Le Masson, Gladys Le Masson, Elena Diato, and Véronique Barbelet
 
7. Engaging with Gender in Water Governance and Practice in Kenya 
Chinwe Ifejika Speranza and Edward Bikketi
 
8. When Water Security Programmes Seek to Empower Women - A Case Study from Western Nepal 
Floriane Clement and Emma Karki 
 
9. "Just Women" is Not Enough: Toward a Gender-Relational Approach to Water and Peacebuilding 
Janpeter Schilling, Rebecca Froese, and Jana Naujoks 
 
10. Calming the Waters, Ploughing the Sea - Can Gender-Responsive Appraoches to Intra-State Water Conflicts Lead to Peacebuilding? Evidence from Lebanon and Nepal 
Henri Myrttinen
 
11. The Role of Women in Transboundary Water Dispute Resolution 
Lynette de Silva, Jennifer C. Veilleux, and Marian J. Neal

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, intersectionality, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Security

Year: 2018

Suffering for Water, Suffering from Water: Emotional Geographies of Resource Access, Control and Conflict

Citation:

Sultana, Farhana. 2011. "Suffering for Water, Suffering from Water: Emotional Geographies of Resource Access, Control and Conflict." Geoforum 42 (2): 163-72. 

Author: Farhana Sultana

Abstract:

This article argues that resource access, use, control, ownership and conflict are not only mediated through social relations of power, but also through emotional geographies where gendered subjectivities and embodied emotions constitute how nature–society relations are lived and experienced on a daily basis. By engaging the insights from feminist political ecology literatures and emotional geographies literatures, the article demonstrates that resource struggles and conflicts are not just material challenges but emotional ones, which are mediated through bodies, spaces and emotions. Such a focus fleshes out the complexities, entanglements and messy relations that constitute political ecologies of resources management, where practices and processes are negotiated through constructions of gender, embodiments, and emotions. Abstractions of ‘resource struggles’ and ‘resource conflicts’ are thereby grounded in embodied emotional geographies of places, peoples, and resources, enabling us to better understand the ways resources and emotions come to matter in everyday survival struggles. This framing can enrich feminist political ecology theorizations and texture our understandings of commonly used terms such as access, use, control, conflict and struggles vis-à-vis natural resources in any context. In other words, we are better able to conceptualize and explain how and why people access, use, and struggle over resources the ways they do. A case study of drinking water contamination from Bangladesh is used to develop the theoretical arguments in contributing to existing debates in (feminist) political ecologies.

Keywords: political ecology, emotional geography, resource access, conflict, gender, water, Bangladesh

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, conflict, Gendered Discourses, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Political Economies Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2011

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