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Development

How Important Is Gender in Transboundary Groundwater Governance?: A Question for the Ramotswa Aquifer in Southern Africa

Citation:

Hawkins, Stephanie, Nicole Lefore, Saniso Sakuringwa, and Matshidiso Thathana. 2019. “How Important Is Gender in Transboundary Groundwater Governance?: A Question for the Ramotswa Aquifer in Southern Africa.” wH2O: The Journal of Gender and Water 6 (1): 40-67.

Authors: Stephanie Hawkins, Nicole Lefore, Saniso Sakuringwa, Matshidiso Thathana

Abstract:

In semi-arid Sub-Saharan Africa, groundwater is a critical resource for rural livelihoods given the pressures on surface water and lack of piped delivery. Socially defined gen- der roles in water management often create disparities and inequalities regarding water access, use, and labour, making consideration of gender issues an important component of groundwater governance. Resources shared across borders raises the question about the relevance of and approach to gender in transboundary ground- water governance. This paper explores this question in light of the lack of gender responsive governance arrangements over transboundary groundwater resources. It uses qualitative methodologies to examine the need for institutional approaches to improve gender sensitivity and equality in transboundary groundwater cooperation. The paper seeks to assess how legal instruments on gender and transboundary water resources influence equality for women and men in terms of: reach of water access, benefits of water use, and empowerment. First, it analyses the level of gender sensi- tivity in international and regional instruments that provide the governance frame- work for transboundary groundwater. It then proposes a new integrated framework for analysis, which it applies to the case study of the Ramotswa aquifer – a resource shared between South Africa and Botswana. The paper examines the extent to which international instruments, national law and local programmes and projects related to transboundary groundwater governance correspond with the realities on the ground. The results uncover constraints in both countries regarding equal participation in decision-making, deficiencies in meeting gendered needs and ensuring benefits, and disempowering legal frameworks. The paper concludes with entry points that link transboundary water governance and local level water management, offering potential indicators that can inform governance and programming, and enable improved moni- toring of the implementation of gender responsiveness at multiple levels.

Topics: Development, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Botswana, South Africa

Year: 2019

Who Carries the Water: Feminist Reflections on Anatolian Hydroelectric Power Plants, Rivers, and Resistance

Citation:

Belkis, Fatma, and İz Öztat. 2018. “Who Carries the Water: Feminist Reflections on Anatolian Hydroelectric Power Plants, Rivers, and Resistance.” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 14 (3): 368–73.

Authors: Fatma Belkis, İz Öztat

Annotation:

Summary:
"Following the Gezi Uprising in 2013, we felt the need to learn from grassroots struggles, ongoing since 1998, against the construction of small hydroelectric power plants (SHPs) on rivers in numerous valleys of Anatolia. The attempt by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government to destroy Gezi Park and the occupation that followed made clear the widespread impact of construction-led growth policies in urban and rural contexts. The anti-SHP movement’s slogan is “Rivers will flow free,” which resonated with us as a radical desire for the right to life of all beings. The slogan voices a demand for the agency of rivers and challenges state and corporate decisions to control their courses with pipes, dams, and dredging.
 
"The grassroots struggle against SHPs coincides with legislation that allows the leasing of water-use rights in rivers to private energy companies for at least fortynine years. Following the privatization “the AKP government launched an aggressive programme” whose goal was building “2,000 small (and large) hydropower plants by 2023, the centennial of the Turkish Republic”(Erensu and Karaman 2017, 14). Governments, corporations, and banks frame SHPs as renewable energy production solutions that facilitate “development,” but in Turkey, as in many other places, their implementation involves removing the water from its bed and running it through pipes to feed multiple turbines, which deprives all living creatures in the ecosystem of their life source.
 
"Our collaborative installation work Who Carries the Water (Belkıs and Öztat 2015) took form as we visited valleys where residents resist the process of dispossession that ensues with the construction of SHPs" (Belkis and Öztat 2018, 368-9).

Topics: Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods, Privatization Regions: MENA, Asia, Europe, Southern Europe

Year: 2018

Re-Conceptualising Gender and Urban Water Inequality: Applying a Critical Feminist Approach to Water Inequality in Dhaka

Citation:

Sulley, Rosa. 2018. "Re-Conceptualising Gender and Urban Water Inequality Applying a Critical Feminist Approach to Water Inequality in Dhaka." DPU Working Paper No. 195, Development Planning Unit, The Bartlett, University College London.

Author: Rosa Sulley

Abstract:

Commonly, urban water inequality has been conceptualised in scholarship and policy as a fixed issue; little attention has been given to dynamic changes over time, space, identity, and relations. Influenced by traditional feminist critiques of development and of who suffers the responsibilities of water management, the consequence has been a focus on women. However, gender mainstreaming approaches aiming to empower women are often critiqued for (re)producing static narratives, and overlooking the multiple experiences and processes of (re)production of inequality. This paper places itself within this debate, aiming to enhance analytical approaches to studying urban water inequality and challenge pervasive simplified, homogenised accounts of urban water inequality. Through critical application of recent conceptual shifts in feminist theorising, it brings together Feminist Political Ecology and Intersectionality literatures to formulate a framework for analysis of urban water inequality. This explores the role and importance of relational subjectivities, power dynamics, hydrosocial relations, and dynamic relations across and within micro and macro scales. The paper focuses on how these dynamics manifest in Dhaka's informal settlements. Bangladesh shows the complex and multi-layered nature of both how water inequality is (re)produced, and how people negotiate it in their everyday lives. The insights, particularly findings of informal and formal fluidity, are then reflected upon in relation to the framework and future research agendas.

Topics: Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Political Economies Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2018

Masculinities and Hydropower in India: A Feminist Political Ecology Perspective

Citation:

Shrestha, Gitta, Deepa Joshi, and Floriane Clement. 2019. "Masculinities and Hydropower in India: A Feminist Political Ecology Perspective." International Journal of the Commons 13 (1): 130-52.

Authors: Gitta Shrestha, Deepa Joshi, Floriane Clement

Abstract:

Mainstreaming gender in water governance through “how to do gender” toolkits has long been a development focus. It has been widely argued that such toolkits simplify the complex, nuanced realities of inequalities by gender in relation to water and fail to pay attention to the fact that the proposed users of such gender-water toolkits, i.e. mostly male water sector professionals, lack the skills, motivation and/or incentives to apply these toolkits in their everyday work. We adopt a feminist political ecology lens to analyse some of the barriers to reduce social inequalities in the management of global commons such as international rivers. Our findings highlight the leap of faith made in the belief that gender toolkits, as they exist, will filter through layers of a predominantly masculine institutional culture to enable change in ground realities of complex inequalities by gender. Analysing the everyday workings of two hydropower development organisations in India, we show how organisational structures demonstrate a blatant culture of masculinity. These two organisations, like many others, are sites where hierarchies and inequalities based on gender are produced, performed and reproduced. This performance of masculinity promotes and rewards a culture of technical pride in re-shaping nature, abiding by and maintaining hierarchy and demonstrating physical strength and emotional hardiness. In such a setting, paying attention to vulnerabilities, inequalities and disparities are incompatible objectives.

Keywords: feminist political ecology, gender, global commons, hydropower, masculinities, India

Topics: Development, Environment, Extractive Industries, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Political Economies Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2019

Saying All the Right Things? Gendered Discourse in Climate-Smart Agriculture

Citation:

Collins, Andrea. 2018. “Saying All the Right Things? Gendered Discourse in Climate-Smart Agriculture.” The Journal of Peasant Studies 45 (1): 175-91. 

Author: Andrea Collins

Abstract:

Amidst debates about the role of ‘climate-smart agriculture’ (CSA), the intersection of concerns about climate change and agriculture offer an opportunity to consider how gender is considered in global policymaking. The latest module in the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, World Bank and International Fund for Agricultural Development Gender and Agriculture Sourcebook – ‘Gender and Climate Smart Agriculture’ – offers an opportunity to reassess how gender factors into these global recommendations. This contribution argues that the module makes strides toward more gender-aware policymaking, but the version of CSA discussed in the module sidesteps the market-led and productivity-oriented practices often associated with CSA. As a result, though the module pushes a more feminist agenda in many respects, it does not fully consider the gendered implications of corporate-led and trade-driven CSA. 

Keywords: agriculture, climate change, gender, FAO, global governance

Topics: Development, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gendered Discourses, Households, International Organizations, Livelihoods

Year: 2018

Incorporating Gender into Low-Emission Development: A Case Study from Vietnam

Citation:

Farnworth, Cathy Rozel, Trần Thu Hà, Björn Ole Sander, Eva Wollenberg, Nicoline C. de Haan, and Shawn McGuire. 2017. “Incorporating Gender into Low-Emission Development: A Case Study from Vietnam.” Gender, Technology and Development 21 (1-2): 5-30.

Authors: Cathy Rozel Farnworth, Trần Thu Hà, Björn Ole Sander, Eva Wollenberg, Nicoline C. de Haan, Shawn McGuire

Abstract:

Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agriculture is needed to meet global climate policy targets. A number of low emission development (LED) options exist in agriculture, which globally emits 10–12% of GHG emissions. In paddy rice production, alternative wetting and drying (AWD) can reduce emissions by up to 48%. Co-benefits of AWD include lower water consumption, lower use of fertilizer and seeds, and higher resistance to some pests and diseases. These are expected to result in improved benefits for individual farmers while lowering the sector’s overall contribution to GHG emissions. Women are strongly involved in rice production, hence improving their access to AWD technology, participation in decisions about it, and capacity to use it influences AWD adoption and resulting emissions. Involving women in AWD and LED more broadly also can provide distributional and procedural justice gains for women. The authors develop a conceptual model to show how these issues can be integrated. They suggest that intermediary organizations such as farmer associations and women’s organizations are central to enabling women to realize their personal goals while allowing gender to be taken to scale in LED, as is the case for other technology interventions. This requires work to expand their social capacities. A case study developed from work on taking gender-responsive LED to scale in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam, illustrates the model.

Keywords: low-emission development, alternative wetting and drying, rice, Vietnam, gender

Topics: Development, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Households, Infrastructure, Livelihoods, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Vietnam

Year: 2017

Gender Equity, Citizenship and Public Water in Bangladesh

Citation:

Sultana, Farhana, Chandra Talpade Mohanty, and Sarah Miraglia. 2016. “Gender Equity, Citizenship and Public Water in Bangladesh.” In Making Public in a Privatized World: The Struggle for Essential Services, edited by David McDonald, 149-64. London: Zed Books Ltd.

Authors: Farhana Sultana, Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Sarah Miraglia

Annotation:

Summary:
“This study underscores the significance of a gendered perspective, the need to focus on women’s lived realities, and the importance of analyzing how politics of place shape access, delivery and preferences for public water. The study affirms equity, affordability, sustainability, and efficiency as generally desirable aspects of public water provision, but questions the means of creating and evaluating public systems to achieve these goals, and warns against entrenching local power hierarchies or further marginalizing the poor or exacerbating their exploitation. The study argues that attention to gender, experience, and place is crucial to any conceptualization of public service and water justice” (Sultana et al. 2016, 150).

Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Governance, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Political Economies Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2016

Water Development Projects and Marital Violence: Experiences From Rural Bangladesh

Citation:

Rabiul Karim, K. M., Maria Emmelin, Bernadette P. Resurreccion, and Sarah Wamala. 2012. “Water Development Projects and Marital Violence: Experiences From Rural Bangladesh.” Health Care for Women International 33 (3): 200–16.

Authors: K.M. Rabiul Karim, Maria Emmelin, Bernadette P. Resurreccion, Sarah Wamala

Abstract:

In this study, we explored the implications of a groundwater development project on women's workload and their experience of marital violence in a Bangladesh village. We believe that the project facilitated irrigation water but also that it resulted in seasonal domestic water shortages. Men used deep motorized pumps for irrigation, and women used shallow handpumps for domestic purposes. Many handpumps dried out, so women had to walk to distant wells. This increased their workload and challenged their possibilities of fulfilling household obligations, thereby increasing the risk of normative marital male violence against women as a punishment for their failure.

Topics: Development, Gender, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Gender-Based Violence, Households, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2012

The Politics of Water: Urban Protest, Gender, and Power in Monterrey, Mexico

Citation:

Bennett, Vivienne. 1995. The Politics of Water: Urban Protest, Gender, and Power in Monterrey, Mexico. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.

Author: Vivienne Bennett

Annotation:

Summary:
Bennett unravels the politics of water in Monterrey by following three threads of inquiry.  First, she examines the water services themselves - what was built, when, why, and who paid for them.  She then reveals the response of poor women to the water crisis, analyzing who participated in protests, the strategies they used, and how the government responded.  And, finally, she considers the dynamics of planning water services for the private sector and the government in investment and management.  In the end, Monterrey’s water services improved because power relations shifted and because poor women in Monterrey used protests to make national news out of the city’s water crisis.
 
The Politics of Water makes a significant contribution to the emerging scholarship on regional politics in Mexico and to a deeper understanding of the Monterrey region in particular.  Until recently, most scholarly writing on Mexico spoke of the national political system as a monolithic whole.  Scholars such as Vivienne Bennett are now recognizing the power of local citizens and the significant differences among regions when it comes to politics, policy making, and governmental investment decisions. (Summary from original source)
 
Table of Contents:
1. Introduction
 
2. Urban Water Services: Theory and Planning
 
3. Buildup of a Crises: The Evolution of Monterrey's Water Service, 1909-1985
 
4. The Voice of the People: Protests Over Water Service in Monterrey Between 1973 and 1985
 
5. Gender, Class, and Water: The Role of Women in Protests Over Water
 
6. Agua Para Todos: The Government's Response to the Water Crisis
 
7. Conclusion: The Politics of Water

Topics: Development, Economies, Environment, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Governance, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods, Privatization Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Mexico

Year: 1995

The Effects of Water Insecurity and Emotional Distress on Civic Action for Improved Water Infrastructure in Rural South Africa

Citation:

Bulled, Nicola. 2016. “The Effects of Water Insecurity and Emotional Distress on Civic Action for Improved Water Infrastructure in Rural South Africa.” Medical Anthropology Quarterly 31 (1): 133–54.

Author: Nicola Bulled

Abstract:

The South African constitution ratifies water as a human right. Yet millions of citizens remain disconnected from the national water infrastructure. Drawing on data collected in 2013-2014 from women in northern South Africa, this study explores "water citizenship"-individual civic engagement related to improving water service provision. Literature indicates that water insecurity is associated with emotional distress and that water-related emotional distress influences citizen engagement. I extend these lines of research by assessing the connection that water insecurity and emotional distress may collectively have with civic engagement to improve access to water infrastructure.

Keywords: South Africa, citizenship, emotional distress, rural poor, water insecurity

Topics: Citizenship, Development, Gender, Women, Health, Mental Health, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods, Political Participation Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2016

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