Opposing Currents: The Politics of Water and Gender in Latin America


Bennett, Vivienne, Sonia Dávila-Poblete, and María Nieves Rico. 2005. Opposing Currents: The Politics of Water and Gender in Latin America. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.

Authors: Vivienne Bennett, Sonia Dávila-Poblete, María Nieves Rico


In every part of the world, looming or full-blown water crises threaten communities from the largest cities to the smallest rural towns. Over the past two decades, there has been increased attention at the global level to the devastating effects of water shortages and pollution, and policies and principles for implementing the sustainable management of water resources have proliferated. But scholars and activists are beginning to understand that top-down environmental policies are doomed to fail if they do not address local cultures and customary uses. As the contributors to Opposing Currents illustrate, that failure is most evident in the inability to recognize that women not only should become central to water management at the local level, but that, in fact, they already are. This volume focuses on women in Latin America as stakeholders in water resources management. It makes their contributions to grassroots efforts more visible, explains why doing so is essential for effective public policy and planning in the water sector, and provides guidelines for future planning and project implementation. After an in-depth review of gender and water management policies and issues in relation to domestic usage, irrigation, and sustainable development, the book provides a series of case studies prepared by an interdisciplinary group of scholars and activists. Covering countries throughout the hemisphere, and moving freely from impoverished neighborhoods to the conference rooms of international agencies, the book explores the various ways in which women are-and are not-involved in local water initiatives across Latin America. Insightful analyses reveal what these case studies imply for the success or failure of various regional efforts to improve water accessibility and usability, and suggest new ways of thinking about gender and the environment in the context of specific policies and practices. (University of Pittsburgh Press)

Topics: Environment, Gender, Women, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation Regions: Americas, Caribbean countries, Central America, North America, South America

Year: 2005

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