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Without Water, There Is No Life’: Negotiating Everyday Risks and Gendered Insecurities in Karachi’s Informal Settlements


Anwar, Nausheen H., Amiera Sanas, and Daanish Mustafa. 2020. “‘Without Water, There Is No Life’: Negotiating Everyday Risks and Gendered Insecurities in Karachi’s Informal Settlements.” Urban Studies 56 (6): 1320-37.

Authors: Nausheen H. Anwar, Amiera Sanas, Daanish Mustafa


This article provides new insights into the politics of water provisioning in Karachi’s informal settlements, where water shortages and contaminations have pushed ordinary citizens to live on the knife edge of water scarcity. We turn our attention to the everyday practices that involve gendered insecurities of water in Karachi, which has been Pakistan’s security laboratory for decades. We explore four shifting security logics that strongly contribute to the crisis of water provisioning at the neighbourhood level and highlight an emergent landscape of ‘securitised water’. Gender maps the antagonisms between these security logics, so we discuss the impacts on ordinary women and men as they experience chronic water shortages. In Karachi, a patriarchal stereotype of the militant or terrorist-controlled water supply is wielded with the aim of upholding statist national security concerns that undermine women’s and men’s daily security in water provisioning whereby everyday issues of risk and insecurity appear politically inconsequential. We contend that risk has a very gendered nature and it is women that experience it both in the home and outside.



Keywords: exclusion, gender, infrastructure, politics, poverty, security, social justice, water, 关键词, 排斥, 性别, 基础设施, 政治, 贫困, 安全, 社会正义, 水

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Terrorism, Security Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Pakistan

Year: 2020

When the Disaster Strikes: Gendered (Im)mobility in Bangladesh


Ayeb-Karlsson, Sonja. 2020. "When the Disaster Strikes: Gendered (Im)mobility in Bangladesh." Climate Risk Management 29.

Author: Sonja Ayeb-Karlsson


Gender influences people’s behaviour in various ways. This study investigates gendered (im) mobility during cyclone strikes in Bangladesh. During such strikes people have described being unable to move away from environmentally high-risk locations and situations. The Q-based Discourse Analysis used by this study shows how and why gender-roles (im)mobilised people in three coastal locations during the cyclones. People (and especially women) explained that failing to evacuate to the cyclone shelters when a disaster strikes was not uncommon. Gender, or feminine and masculine social roles, played a significant role in these evacuation decisions while facilitating or constraining their mobility. The gendered subjectivities presented different accepted social behaviours and spaces for women and men. In this way, immobility (social, psychological, and geographical) was strongly gendered. Masculine roles were expected to be brave and protective, while female ‘mobility’ could be risky. Women’s mobility therefore ended up being constrained to the home. In other words, when the disaster strikes, everyone did not have the same ability to move. These empirical insights are important to inform climate policy in a way that it better supports vulnerable populations worldwide as they confront global environmental changes today and in the future.

Keywords: disaster, (im)mobility, non-evacuation behaviour, trapped populations

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Femininity/ies, Households Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2020

Ten Years after the Oil Spill in Taean: The Recovery of the Ecosystem, the Life of Women, and the Community


Won, You Joon, Sujung Jang, Nuri Jung, Yejoong Kwon, Sae Yan Moon, Hyejin Nho, and Seung Jick Yoo. 2019. "Ten Years after the Oil Spill in Taean: The Recovery of the Ecosystem, the Life of Women, and the Community." Asian Women 35 (4): 1-22.

Authors: You Joon Won, Sujung Jang, Nuri Jung, Yejoong Kwon, Sae Yan Moon, Hyejin Nho, Seung Jick Yoo


Ten years have passed since the impact of the 2007 oil spill on the ecosystem and life of Taean Peninsula. We have investigated the status of the recovery of the marine environment, local economy, families and community by interviewing the people who have lived in Taean. We especially focused on differentiated impacts of the disaster by gender, and in the local communities. Women showed more severe vulnerability because of the limited job opportunities caused by the implicitly ongoing patriarchy in the society, the job characteristics of haenyeo, and underpayment for their labor during the clean-up operations. We also found that there have been social unrests in the local communities originating from conflicts over compensation and allocation of clean-up works, government emergency grants, and local development funds, in addition to high stress levels. The environmental disaster, the Hebei Spirit oil spill, was found to be responsible for the increased number of family break-ups through occurrences such as divorce, intensifying the negative impacts on women. Through this study on the short- and long-term effects of the Hebei Spirit oil spill, we conclude that environmental disasters have more significant and prolonged impacts for women and the community from physical, mental, and socio-economic perspectives.

Keywords: oil spill, environmental disaster, gender, community, family

Topics: Economies, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: South Korea

Year: 2019

Water Conservation Awareness and Practices in Households Receiving Improved Water Supply: A Gender-Based Analysis


Tong, Yan, Liangxin Fan, and Haipeng Niu. 2017. "Water Conservation Awareness and Practices in Households Receiving Improved Water Supply: A Gender-Based Analysis." Journal of Cleaner Production 141: 947-55.

Authors: Yan Tong, Liangxin Fan, Haipeng Niu


Adoption of water conservation practices (WCPs) is essential to save water. However, the factors that affect changes in behaviour related to water consumption remain unclear, particularly those related to gender differences and women's views towards WCPs. These factors often result in ineffective public policies. In this study, we analysed the effects of consciousness, perceptions and individual behaviour control towards WCPs, as well as the influence of gender (i.e. male and female) on residents' WCPs via a detailed survey of 622 residents (female: 318, male: 304) in rural northern China. Data were analysed using a one-way ANOVA and structural equation model. The respondents had a high degree of awareness of WCPs but reported low participation in WCPs, particularly among male users. Female users consumed twice as much water and adopted more WCPs than male users. Saving water bill was the main incentive for female users to practise WCPs, whereas that for male users was to alleviate water supply shortage. Daily routine changes and additional time and physical efforts were the main barriers for WCPs, particularly for male users. In addition, WCPs of male users were highly affected by individual behaviour control and attitude towards conservation, whereas for female users, WCPs were highly affected by expected results and social norms. The significant gender disparities in the results emphasise the need to ensure information transparency and communication across gender, users, and authorities in public policies and community programs to fix gender gaps and to enhance adoption of WCPs by the public.

Keywords: domestic water consumption, water-use behavior, gender disparity, survey, Rural China

Topics: Gender, Women, Men, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: China

Year: 2017

Drinking Water and Off-Farm Labour Supply: Between-Gender and Within-Gender Bias


Zhou, Li, and Calum G. Turvey. 2018. "Drinking Water and Off-Farm Labour Supply: Between-Gender and Within-Gender Bias." Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics 62 (1): 103-20.

Authors: Li Zhou, Calum G. Turvey


In this paper, we use the China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS) panel data to analyse the impact of drinking water on off-farm labour supply. A two-stage least squares (2SLS) multivariate Tobit regression model with random effects was applied. We find that impacts of drinking water conditions on off-farm labour supply may be greater for women than men but depends on the specific family role or family structure. A strong within-gender effect exists in households. For example, daughters are not sensitive to water access nor water quality, but householder's spouses are sensitive to water access, and daughters-in-law are sensitive to water quality. Our findings suggest that infrastructure development in improved access to safe water has contributed positively to reductions in traditional gender biases, evening the playing field between daughters, daughters-in-law, mothers and mothers-in-law. We also find that water the infrastructure program may actually encourage off-farm labour mobility, reducing the supply of agricultural labour and the share of household labour on the farm. Thus, a broader approach to water policy should also include public investment in achieving greater labour efficiency and productivity.

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: China

Year: 2018

Post-Disaster Recovery in the Cyclone Aila Affected Coastline of Bangladesh: Women's Role, Challenges and Opportunities


Alam, Khurshed, and Md. Habibur Rahman. 2019. "Post-Disaster Recovery in the Cyclone Aila Affected Coastline of Bangladesh: Women's Role, Challenges and Opportunities." Natural Hazards 96: 1067-90.

Authors: Khurshed Alam, Md. Habibur Rahman


The present study deals with the gender aspects of water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) situation in post-cyclone Aila period in Bangladesh. Data were collected using participatory approaches like individual interview, key informant interview, focus group discussion and field level observation. Study reveals that after Aila, women had to travel 500 m–2 km per day to fetch water from safe water sources spending 30–90 min. People used pit and hanging latrines, uncovered water framed latrines as well as had open defecation. Considering the impromptu needs, government and other aid-giving agencies focused on immediate WaSH programme. The paper is an outcome of a critical assessment of those arduous efforts made to overcome the WaSH challenges after Aila, particularly women’s role in and challenges faced by them to improving the situation. Also attempt has been made to examine the opportunities and challenges of sustainability of WaSH programme pursued in the post-disaster period. For recovery of the WaSH system, a two-part strategy was followed where one was to make technology (tubewell, pond and filter, saline purification and rainwater harvesting plants) that supporting social arrangement and another was social arrangement (group formation, capacity building on construction, operation and maintenance) that supporting technology. A techno-social contingent model has been followed for addressing the post-disaster WaSH situation following a WasH approach. Women’s these roles in meeting the households’ WaSH requirements might be called WaSH-feminism. The main finding is that although there was a technical challenge to overcome the water and sanitation crises, after the disaster a set of appropriate technologies could remove it considerably, but a corresponding social arrangement was required there to operate it. Many kinds of technical and social limiting factors were there for women that could be removed partly but not totally.

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2019

Gender Differences in Children Mental Health Disorders after Earthquakes in Iran: A Systematic Review


Seddighi, Hamed, and Ibrahim Salmani. 2019. "Gender Differences in Children Mental Health Disorders after Earthquakes in Iran: A Systematic Review." Journal of Community Health Research 8 (1): 54-64.

Authors: Hamed Seddighi, Ibrahim Salmani


Introduction: Earthquake occurs in the world every year and Iran is one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world with the ranking of 15 between 120 countries. Children are the most vulnerable group in disasters and they have a number of negative symptoms after a disaster. 
Methods: This study used the systematic review method and followed systematic review principles. Mental health, earthquake, psychosocial, PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, and stress were the keywords used to search in the Iranian scientific information database (SID), Noor Specialized Magazines (Noormags) and Google Scholar. The language of the search was Farsi and just Farsi articles were included in the review. 
Results: The result were presented in five sections (Psychosocial interventions, Signs of disorder, Gender, Age, Geographical area). It showed psychosocial interventions of those studied in reviewed papers were effective and there were gender differences in children mental health disorders after earthquakes in Iran. In addition, PTSD group, girls reported all the symptoms of PTSD more than the boys except anger symptoms, but the prevalence of PTSD symptoms in males was higher than in girls. 
Conclusion: Iranian studies just focused on male and female gender and found that disorders are higher in girls of different ages in childhood. In the age group of 13 to 18 years, the frequency of each disorder was less than that of the seven to twelve-year old group.

Keywords: children, mental health, earthquake, natural disaster, PTSD, gender

Topics: Age, Youth, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Health, Mental Health, PTSD Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iran

Year: 2019

Lingu, Bomba Talu and Naombo: Triple Disaster in Central Sulawesi: A Gender Analysis


Fatimah, Dati, and Fiona Roberts. 2019. Lingu, Bomba Talu and Naombo: Triple Disaster in Central Sulawesi: A Gender Analysis. Oxfam.

Authors: Dati Fatimah, Fiona Roberts


On 28 September 2018, a major earthquake (lingu in the local language) with a magnitude of 7.4 struck Central Sulawesi in Indonesia, triggering a near-field tsunami (bomba talu), large-scale soil liquefaction (naombo) and landslides. As part of the subsequent humanitarian response, Oxfam and humanitarian networking partners JMK, including local organizations LBH APIK Palu and PKBI Palu, conducted research in camps for internally displaced persons in affected areas. The aim was to find out how the impacts of the disaster differed for women, men, boys and girls, as well as the variations in their roles and their access to and control of resources. As part of the assessment, the researchers carried out a rapid analysis of care work and also made efforts to identify how different groups might participate in the humanitarian response. This gender analysis is based on those research findings. It makes recommendations on how to respond to immediate and life-saving practical and strategic needs, with a focus on gender. It can also be used to inform and improve future responses to similar disasters in the same geographical area. (Summary from Oxfam)


Topics: Displacement & Migration, Climate Displacement, IDPs, Refugee/IDP Camps, Economies, Care Economies, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Humanitarian Assistance Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Indonesia

Year: 2019

Climate Shocks Constrain Human Fertility in Indonesia


Sellers, Samuel, and Clark Gray. 2019. "Climate Shocks Constrain Human Fertility in Indonesia." World Development 117: 357-69.

Authors: Samuel Sellers, Clark Gray


Climate change is likely to induce a large range of household- and individual-level responses, including changes in human fertility behaviors and outcomes. These responses may have important implications for human and economic development and women's empowerment. Drawing on the literature linking climate conditions to rice cultivation in Indonesia, we use longitudinal household survey and high-resolution climate data to explore changes in childbearing intentions, family planning use, and births following community-level climate shocks from 1993 to 2015. We find that fertility intentions increase and family planning use declines in response to delays in monsoon onset occurring within the previous year, particularly for wealthier populations. However, women on farms are significantly more likely to use family planning and less likely to give birth following abnormally high temperatures during the previous five years. We also measure parallel shifts in household well-being as measured by rice, food, and non-food consumption expenditures. Our findings advance the environmental fertility literature by showing that longer duration environmental shocks can have impacts on fertility behaviors and outcomes. Collectively, our results illustrate human fertility responses to climate change in a country vulnerable to its effects, and demonstrate that in some cases, climate shocks can constrain human fertility.

Keywords: family planning, reproductive health, environmental shock, Indonesia, Southeast Asia

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Health, Reproductive Health, Households Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Indonesia

Year: 2019

Livelihoods, Gender and Climate Change in the Eastern Himalayas


Bhadwal, Suruchi, Ghanashyam Sharma, Ganesh Gorti, and Sudeshna Maya Sen. 2019. "Livelihoods, Gender and Climate Change in the Eastern Himalayas." Environmental Development 31: 68-77.

Authors: Suruchi Bhadwal, Ghanashyam Sharma, Ganesh Gorti, Sudeshna Maya Sen


The Hindukush Himalayan region encompasses a large area covering many countries in the North, South and Central parts of Asia. People living in these mountains face huge complexities arising from a number of factors including terrain characteristics, micro-climates, environmental degradation, access to basic services etc. These complexities vary as one moves geographically from one region to the other. The State of Sikkim in the North Eastern part of India also observes similar challenges. Exposure to extreme events is location specific and communities settled in high, mid and low altitudinal regions are differentially affected. Climate change impacts are disproportionate and influence lives and livelihoods variedly. One crucial determinant of these disproportionate impacts is gender – existing social norms determine roles and responsibilities, entitlements and capabilities, thereby influencing the individual perceptions of shocks and susceptibility which vary across gender groups. The paper seeks to draw insights from the various field studies conducted in these locations to understand the gender vulnerabilities that manifest through a combination of complex and interlinked factors. It seeks to understand the existing social practices typically associated with these gender groups and how changes in the climate are and potentially influence vulnerability. The study makes use of qualitative research methods to understand the gender roles, responsibilities. The study tries to bridge a crucial gap in research – of providing empirical evidence on gender mediated vulnerability in an under-researched climatic hotspot – the Hindu Kush Himalayan region. The study reiterates the role of place-based vulnerability in influencing lives and livelihoods and emphasises on the lack of access to human, financial and natural capitals as predominantly driving gendered vulnerabilities.

Keywords: mountains, complexities, gender, livelihoods, vulnerabilities, intersectionality

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, Central Asia, South Asia

Year: 2019


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