Gender, Large-Scale Development, and Food Insecurity in Lesotho: An Analysis of the Impact of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project


Braun, Yvonne A. 2010. “Gender, Large-Scale Development, and Food Insecurity in Lesotho: An Analysis of the Impact of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project.” Gender & Development 18 (3): 453–64.

Author: Yvonne A. Braun


This article investigates the effects of development policy on gender and food security. It analysis how one policy instituted by a large-scale multi-dam development project, the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP), affected women's food security in the rural highlands of Lesotho, southern Africa. This was a mitigation policy, aiming to ensure that the LHWP did not negatively impact on the people living in the area where the dams were constructed. However, ethnographic research suggests that the policy itself reinforced and exacerbated gender inequalities that affected women's ability to secure food, and put women at risk of food insecurity within their households. Once again we see that gender issues must be central to the constitution and implementation of development projects.

Keywords: gender, women, food security, development, inequality, Lesotho

Topics: Development, Food Security, Gender, Women, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Lesotho

Year: 2010

© 2023 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at