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Mauritania

An Analysis of Water Collection Labor among Women and Children in 24 Sub-Saharan African Countries

Citation:

Graham, Jay P., Mitsuaki Hirai, and Seung-Sup Kim. 2016. “An Analysis of Water Collection Labor among Women and Children in 24 Sub-Saharan African Countries.” PLOS ONE 11 (6): e0155981. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0155981.

Authors: Jay P. Graham, Mitsuaki Hirai, Seung-Sup Kim

Abstract:

Background

It is estimated that more than two-thirds of the population in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) must leave their home to collect water, putting them at risk for a variety of negative health outcomes. There is little research, however, quantifying who is most affected by long water collection times.

Objectives

This study aims to a) describe gender differences in water collection labor among both adults and children (< 15 years of age) in the households (HHs) that report spending more than 30 minutes collecting water, disaggregated by urban and rural residence; and b) estimate the absolute number of adults and children affected by water collection times greater than 30 minutes in 24 SSA countries.

Methods

We analyzed data from the Demographic Health Survey (DHS) and the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) (2005–2012) to describe water collection labor in 24 SSA countries.

Results

Among households spending more than 30 minutes collecting water, adult females were the primary collectors of water across all 24 countries, ranging from 46% in Liberia (17,412 HHs) to 90% in Cote d’Ivoire (224,808 HHs). Across all countries, female children were more likely to be responsible for water collection than male children (62% vs. 38%, respectively). Six countries had more than 100,000 households (HHs) where children were reported to be responsible for water collection (greater than 30 minutes): Burundi (181,702 HHs), Cameroon (154,453 HHs), Ethiopia (1,321,424 HHs), Mozambique (129,544 HHs), Niger (171,305 HHs), and Nigeria (1,045,647 HHs).

Conclusion

In the 24 SSA countries studied, an estimated 3.36 million children and 13.54 million adult females were responsible for water collection in households with collection times greater than 30 minutes. We suggest that accessibility to water, water collection by children, and gender ratios for water collection, especially when collection times are great, should be considered as key indicators for measuring progress in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector.

Topics: Gender, Women, Men, Girls, Boys, Health, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa Countries: Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte D'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Sao Tome & Principe, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Swaziland, Zimbabwe

Year: 2016

Performing Repatriation? The Role of Refugee Aid in Shaping New Beginnings in Mauritania

Citation:

Fresia, Marion. 2014. “Performing Repatriation? The Role of Refugee Aid in Shaping New Beginnings in Mauritania.” Development and Change 45 (3): 434–57. doi:10.1111/dech.12086.

Author: Marion Fresia

Abstract:

Academic work on transitional justice has tended to focus on the most obvious and institutionalized sites where ideas about justice and transition are discussed or contested, such as truth commissions or international tribunals. Yet, there are many other sites where such ideas are framed, circulated or challenged, including sites outside transitional countries. Drawing on the case of Mauritania, where the repatriation of refugees has played a highly symbolic role during the latest ‘democratic’ transition, this article explores the specific roles played by refugee aid and past experiences of refugee life in shaping the terms of new beginnings in this country. As places of intense politicization of memory and appropriation of transnational discourses on human rights violations and transitional justice, refugee camps enhance the construction of new imagined communities based on a feeling of victimhood and abnormality and the construction of hegemonic narratives over the ‘just order’ to be aspired to for the future. The article outlines how such hegemonic ideas on justice and transition are shaped by humanitarian actors and the refugee elite, while at the same time being contested by subaltern groups through the production of alternative accounts of past injustices and through mundane practices.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Humanitarian Assistance, Justice, Transitional Justice Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Mauritania

Year: 2014

Women on the Frontline: A Question of Rape

"Aired first on BBC World TV, this critically acclaimed series, hosted by Annie Lennox, gives a brutally honest account of the silent war being waged against women across the world.

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