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Infrastructure

Investigating Community Constructed Rural Water Systems in Northwest Cameroon: Leadership, Gender and Exclusion

Citation:

Tantoh, Henry, and Tracey Mckay. 2020. "Investigating Community Constructed Rural Water Systems in Northwest Cameroon: Leadership, Gender and Exclusion." International Development Planning Review 42 (4): 455-78.

Authors: Henry Tantoh, Tracey Mckay

Abstract:

Many rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa have a long history of community cooperation and local-led development projects harnessed to improve the delivery of water services. This study examined issues of local leadership across various community-built rural water supply (CBRWS) in the Mbengwi, Njinikom and Ndu districts of Northwest Cameroon. The study found that where there was an absence of public water supplies, coupled with high levels of rural poverty, CBRWS projects were able to ensure a water supply lifeline. These projects were effective in communities where local leadership structures were strong, due to their ability to ensure high levels of community participation. Such communities experienced improved welfare and enhanced quality of life. Thus, involving community members in issues concerning their own development, coupled with good local-level leadership are crucial aspects of successful rural development projects. The study also found that, in all cases, local leadership was patriarchal and exclusionary. Labour, cash and in-kind support were donated by the residents but women and youths did not have a voice to participate in decisions relating to the community projects conferred upon them. Thus, community participation in these projects cannot be equated with promoting grassroots or participatory democracy. Rather it reinforced traditional hegemonies.

Topics: Age, Youth, Agriculture, Civil Society, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Cameroon

Year: 2020

Gender-Sensitive Approaches and Issues of Urban Climate Changes: Benefits and Challenges

Citation:

Sogani, Reetu, and K. R. Viswanathan. 2020. “Gender-Sensitive Approaches and Issues of Urban Climate Changes: Benefits and Challenges.” In Urban Spaces and Gender in Asia, edited by Caroline Brassard and Divya Upadhyaya Joshi, 177–96. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Authors: Reetu Sogani, K. R. Viswanathan

Abstract:

Climate change is increasingly recognised as one of the most challenging issues which is being experienced by humanity today. Though many researches and studies have acknowledged that women and the marginalised are the first and worst sufferers, solutions suggested to address the issues are ironically primarily technical and economically oriented. Human and gender dimensions are touched upon only by a few. At the same time, majority of the studies have based their research on climate change in rural areas, though in low and middle income countries like India, tremendous population growth is being experienced in secondary and small cities, aggravating the impacts of climatic variability and extreme events. This certainly conveys an urgency for studies covering all the three categories simultaneously: gender, climate change and urban areas, in developing countries. Thankfully, the importance of addressing these emerging issues in the urban context has increasingly been recognised now. The impact of gender-sensitive approaches on climate compatible development and pursuing gender mainstreaming in urban planning does result in improved climate compatible development outcomes and improved gender relations. And these are possible only through participatory, transdisciplinary and gender-sensitive approaches, as has been shown by a few studies conducted linking these three issues. In fact, climate change is providing an opportunity to be looking at these issues in a more holistic and transdisciplinary manner, which it deserves.

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming, Infrastructure, Urban Planning

Year: 2020

Urbanization, Climate Linked Water Vulnerability as Impediments to Gender Equality: A Case Study of Delhi, India

Citation:

Kher, Jagriti, Savita Aggarwal, Geeta Punhani, and Sakshi Saini. "Urbanization, Climate Linked Water Vulnerability as Impediments to Gender Equality: A Case Study of Delhi, India." In Handbook of Climate Change Resilience, edited by Walter Leal Filho, 2097-124. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Authors: Jagriti Kher, Savita Aggarwal, Geeta Punhani, Sakshi Saini

Abstract:

Poor urban and rural women bear the brunt of climate change as the dwindling availability of water and other natural resources makes their lives full of drudgery. They trudge longer distances and head load water for the family and struggle with poor water quality and unsafe sanitation. Climatic changes and the non-climatic drivers such as rapid urbanization and high rate of population growth will further confound the scenario and make the lives of poor women harder.

The present study has been conducted to assess the vulnerability of poor women residing in slums of Delhi, the capital city of India, to water- and climate-linked stresses using quantitative and qualitative approaches. An index called CVI-WH was used to quantify vulnerability of the slum women; the qualitative study was done using various participatory approaches. The study has shown very high vulnerability of the slum women to climate-linked water stresses as reflected by high CVI-WH values ranging between 0.62 and 0.67 across different regions.

Therefore, if the quality of life of poor women has to be improved, it is extremely important to enhance the adaptive capacity of women to face climatic stresses and to invest in water- and sanitation-related infrastructure.

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2020

Gender Analysis Approach to Analyzing Gender Differentiated Impacts of Coping Strategies to Climate Change

Citation:

Kher, Jagriti, and Savita Aggarwal. 2020. "Gender Analysis Approach to Analyzing Gender Differentiated Impacts of Coping Strategies to Climate Change." In Handbook of Climate Change Resilience, edited by Walter Leal Filho, 2097-124. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Authors: Jagriti Kher, Savita Aggarwal

Abstract:

Provision of safe water and fuel for the household is important Practical Gender Needs (PGNs) of women, which in turn are crucial to enable them to meet their Strategic Gender Needs (SGNs) of education, income, and control over resources. Climatic change and extremes coupled with demographic, socioeconomic, and technological changes enhance the scarcity of natural resources and negatively impact poor women much more as they cope by trudging longer distances to procure prime resources for the household. The present study examines the gender-differentiated impact of coping strategies to climate change using secondary data from published research conducted across developing countries using Moser’s gender analysis framework. The study has shown that most of the coping strategies practiced by families had much greater negative impacts on women and children as compared to males. The study also highlighted that gender analysis framework is a useful methodology to assess the impact of climatic stresses and extremes on men and women. If the Sustainable Development Goals of eradicating poverty, achieving good health, and access to quality education, safe water, and sanitation facilities and above all gender equality have to be met, it is very important to invest in basic infrastructure to provide for the Practical Gender Needs of women. Besides improving their quality of life, such investments will enable women to focus on their Strategic Gender Needs and also enhance their adaptive capacity to lead climate resilient lives.

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Analysis, Women, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Year: 2020

Intimate Infrastructures: The Rubrics of Gendered Safety and Urban Violence in Kerala, India

Citation:

Datta, Ayona, and Nabeela Ahmed. 2020. "Intimate Infrastructures: The Rubrics of Gendered Safety and Urban Violence in Kerala, India." Geoforum 110: 67-76.

Authors: Ayona Datta, Nabeela Ahmed

Abstract:

Urban infrastructures can enable and embody multiple forms of violence against women; from the spectacular and immediate, to the slow, everyday and intimate. Disconnections and absences of infrastructure - such as water and sanitation, to public transport and toilets - fracture peripheries and low-income neighbourhoods from resources, rights and mobility within the city, and in everyday life, enacting some of the largest tolls on women. This 'infrastructural violence' () is experienced in intimate ways by women in low-income neighbourhoods. While they lack access to adequate resources in urban settlements they simultaneously face all forms of physical violence during access to and use of water, toilets, public transport, energy use and walkways. Drawing from empirical fieldwork in the city of Thiruvanathapuram, Kerala, in southern India, we adopt an expanded notion of infrastructure that is mutually constitututive of gender-based relations of power and violence from the home to the city. Developing the rubrics of gendered safety and urban violence, we argue first, that lack of access to infrastructure is a form of intimate violence and second, that this violence is experienced and constituted through multiple scales, forms, sites and temporalities of infrastructural absence. In doing so, we further contribute to the extension of debates in feminist critical geography to critique binary constructions of gender based violence, by collapsing hierarchies of intimate and structural violence as the violence of infrastructure.

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Infrastructure, Violence Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2020

Photons vs. Firewood: Female (Dis)Empowerment by Solar Power in India

Citation:

Stock, Ryan, and Trevor Birkenholtz. 2020. “Photons vs. Firewood: Female (Dis)Empowerment by Solar Power in India.” Gender, Place and Culture 27 (11): 1628-51.

Authors: Ryan Stock, Trevor Birkenholtz

Abstract:

Renewable energy transitions are accelerating in the Global South. Yet many large-scale renewable energy infrastructures are developed on public lands with unknown impacts on commons access and usage. A prime example of this is the Gujarat Solar Park (GSP) in India, which is one of the world’s largest solar photovoltaic facilities. The GSP is situated on 2,669 acres of previously common property, which has historically been used by female pastoralists for firewood collection. In this paper, we examine the following research questions: How do gender and caste power shape natural resource access in this region?; Does the Gujarat Solar Park exacerbate already gendered social-economic-political asymmetries? Our study utilizes a feminist political ecology framework to analyze the social dimensions of the GSP, drawing on recent work in this vein that uses a postcolonial and intersectional approach to examine the production of social difference through the spatial processes and political economy of solar energy generation. We find that the enclosure of public ‘wastelands’ to develop the Gujarat Solar Park has dispossessed resource-dependent women of access to firewood and grazing lands. This spatial dislocation is reinforcing asymmetrical social power relations at the village scale. Intersectional subject-positions are (re)produced vis-à-vis the exclusion of access to firewood in the land enclosed for the solar park. Affected women embody this dispossession through inter- and intra-village emotional geographies that cut across caste, class and gender boundaries.

Topics: Caste, Class, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Women, Infrastructure, Energy, Intersectionality Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2020

Gender Justice in the Energy Transition Era: Exploring Gender and Technology in the Extractives Sector

Citation:

Lugonzo, Alaka, and Kennedy Chege. 2020. “Gender Justice in the Energy Transition Era: Exploring Gender and Technology in the Extractives Sector.” In Energy Transitions and the Future of the African Energy Sector, edited by Victoria R. Nalulue, 371-96. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Authors: Alaka Lugonzo, Kennedy Chege

Annotation:

Summary:
The world of technology is transitioning fast as a result of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (‘the 4IR’). The digital revolution is not only making fundamental changes to how we live, but it is also having a profound impact on how we conduct business. The global market is adapting to new trends and faster turnaround times, and all sectors, including the energy and extractives sector (oil and gas, and mining sectors), will be forced to adapt to the transition. This change aligns with the clean energy developments and the global move to transition to a low-carbon economy which is characterized by technological advancements. The world is gradually discovering new things to do with technology, as its potential is beginning to be embraced. The present COVID-19 pandemic, for example, has altered the way we use technology, with many people spending more time online, thus creating the impetus to fast track the implementation of the 4IR. These changes will affect gender inclusivity and the future of work. Apart from the above issues, this chapter examines: why it is essential to include women in the workforce and along the different value chains, the need for automation in the extractives sector and how it will affect how we work. Lastly, the proposed solutions to address the challenges of gender disparity and promote inclusivity in the energy and extractives sector will be explored from the perspectives of the different role players in this sector, i.e. the public sector/governments; the private sector, including business entities; and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s). (Summary from original source)

Topics: Economies, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Energy

Year: 2020

‘We Are Free When Water Is Available’: Gendered Livelihood Implications of Sporadic Water Supply in Northern Ghana

Citation:

Jeil, Emmanuel Bintaayi, Kabila Abass, and John Kuumuori Ganle. 2020. “‘We Are Free When Water Is Available’: Gendered Livelihood Implications of Sporadic Water Supply in Northern Ghana.” Local Environment 25 (4): 320-35.

Authors: Emmanuel Bintaayi Jeil, Kabila Abass, John Kuumuori Ganle

Abstract:

Water shortages may present different and diverse implications for gender subgroups particularly in low-income settings. Yet, little research has documented the gendered livelihood implications of water shortages in Ghana. Based on a cross-sectional mixed method research involving a survey of 250 household heads and complemented with a qualitative study of 86 participants, the paper examines the differential effects of sporadic water supply in Tatale-Sanguli District of Northern Ghana. Our findings suggest that the livelihood effects of sporadic water supply in Tatale-Sanguli area are gendered, with females being disproportionately affected as compared to males. These differential effects are often framed by both gender role differentiation and inequities in access to vital productive resources and critical assets such as bicycles, tricycles and motor bikes. These findings highlight not only the need for local government and non-governmental organisations to step up efforts in water provision, but also to recognise the gendered effects of water shortages in Tatale-Sanguli District. Key to policy is also to ensure that programmatic interventions during water shortages take account of the likely gendered effects and differentiated burdens.

Keywords: gender, livelihood, water supply, Northern Ghana, sporadic

Topics: Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2020

Indigenous Women, Water Justice and Zaagidowin (Love)

Citation:

McGregor, Deborah. 2013. "Indigenous Women, Water Justice and Zaagidowin (Love)." Canadian Woman Studies 30 (2): 71-8. 

Author: Deborah McGregor

Abstract:

FRENCH ABSTRACT:
Le principe de “zaagidowinza” ou l’amour est l’élément central pour définir la répartition égalitaire de l’eau. Le terme ¨amour¨a plusieurs significations en Anishinaabemowin, mais nous verrons comment le principe légal Anishinaabek réalise le bien-être ou le Mnaamodzawin. Nous verrons aussi que le principe amour était et est toujours inclus dans les WaterWalks de la Mère-Terre, que je discuterai dans mon texte. Je considérerai la notion de justice environnementale, de l’eau en particulier. A ce sujet, les Anishinaabek considèrent non seulement les traumatismes subis par les peuplades et autres qui sont dus à la contamination de l’eau, etc., mais ils estiment que les eaux sont des êtres sensibles qui ont besoin de soins pour guérir de ces traumatismes. Seulement quand les eaux seront guéries et capables de remplir leur devoir face à la Création, la justice de l’eau sera alors reconnue.

Topics: Environment, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation Regions: Americas, North America

Year: 2013

Giving Women a Voice on Decision-Making about Water: Barriers and Opportunities in Laikipia, Kenya

Citation:

Coulter, Janna E., Rebecca A. Witinok-Huber, Brett L. Bruyere, and Wanja Dorothy Nyingi. 2019. “Giving Women a Voice on Decision-Making about Water: Barriers and Opportunities in Laikipia, Kenya.” Gender, Place & Culture 26 (4): 489–509.

Authors: Janna E. Coulter, Rebecca A. Witinok-Huber, Brett L. Bruyere, Wanja Dorothy Nyingi

Abstract:

In more than 75% of households around the world in which water needs are fulfilled by retrieving water, women are typically tasked with this critical responsibility. This is true in Kenya, and the challenges women in rural areas of the country face are compounded by a lack of reasonable access to safe water by 56.5% of rural households. More than 25% of the population must travel at least 30 minutes to collect water, and 70% of all diseases in the country are water-borne (Kameri-Mbote and Kariuki 2015). Given their role as the primary household decision-maker about water, women have an astute understanding of water availability, access, quality and household use, and women’s perspectives would enhance decision-making in groups that address water resource management. However, women have historically been marginalized from participation in such processes for numerous reasons related to lack of empowerment, leadership, and voice, and the practicalities of the demands on her time that prevent her from having discretionary time to devote to civic processes. In this study, we interviewed 153 women living in three different watersheds in the Laikipia region of central Kenya about their views on water resource management, and interest in participation in water resource user associations (WRUAs) as members and leaders. Our results are consistent with prior research in that marginalization of women from WRUA participation is steeped in entrenched normative beliefs and behaviors about women’s roles and her domestic responsibilities, a lack of money to participate, and a lack of time given her other responsibilities.

Keywords: governance, Kenya, marginalization, women, water

Topics: Gender, Gender Roles, Women, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Political Participation Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2019

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