Irrigation Management, the Participatory Approach, and Equity in an Andean Community


Delgado, Juana Rosa Vera. 2005. “Irrigation Management, the Participatory Approach, and Equity in an Andean Community.” In Opposing Currents: The Politics of Water and Gender in Latin America, edited by Vivienne Bennett, Sonia Dávila-Poblete, and María Nieves Rico, 109-122. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.

Author: Juana Rosa Vera Delgado



“The women of Llullucha were clearly not passive victims of the prevailing rules and discourses that prevented their access to land, water, or knowledge. They actively resisted, building their agency to take advantage of even the smallest openings… They proved that women can participate in an integrated water management project and that water management is not the exclusive realm of engineers or men, despite the initial bias of the IMA water management project.” (116)

“When we researched the participation of Llullucha women in the emerging water user organization, we found that it was not even considered by the comuneros or by the engineers. There was nothing regarding how women might be able to participate in decision making or occupy a position of authority. As a result, only men discussed then decided the requirements for accessing water, and they did so according to their prevailing, typically patriarchal, ideology… Evidence from around the world shows when a social organization for managing a water system is formalized, women become invisible at the formal level of participation.” (120)

“The extent to which gender can be integrated with water management policies does not depend only on the resoluteness of technicians in deconstructing their ideology regarding womanhood or manhood and their willingness to cross boundaries. It also depends on the willingness and capability of authorities and institutions to listen, integrate, and promote gender equity in all types of social action.” (122)

Topics: Civil Society, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equity, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Bolivia

Year: 2005

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