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Water & Sanitation

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

'Just Women’ Is Not Enough: Towards a Gender-Relational Approach to Water and Peacebuilding

Citation:

Schilling, Janpeter, Rebecca Froese, and Jana Naujoks. 2018. “‘Just Women’ Is Not Enough: Towards a Gender-Relational Approach to Water and Peacebuilding.” In Water Security Across the Gender Divide, edited by Christiane Fröhlich, Giovanna Gioli, Roger Cremades, and Henri Myrttinen, 173–96. Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Authors: Janpeter Schilling, Rebecca Froese, Jana Naujoks

Abstract:

Gender is a topic that every large development and peacebuilding organisation mainstreams in its programming. However, often “gender” implies a focus on women. We argue that this is not enough to utilise the full potential of a meaningful and effective integration of gender in specific projects, particularly in the peacebuilding and the water sector. The aim of this chapter is therefore to develop a first gender-relational approach to water and peacebuilding that will help researchers, practitioners and policy makers to better understand and integrate the multiple dimensions of gender. To achieve this aim, we first explore the main trends in and connections between gender on the one side and peacebuilding and the water sector on the other side, before we identify key gaps and crosscutting themes. Against this background, we develop a gender-relational approach based on questions to guide the integration of gender into water and peacebuilding. Our main method is a comprehensive review of the relevant academic literature and reports by key donors, and international development and peacebuilding organisations. Further, we draw on examples from Kenya and Nepal to conclude that a gender-relational approach to water and peacebuilding needs to go beyond a focus on “just women”. There is a need to incorporate heterosexual women and men, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons (LGBTI), explore the relations within and between these groups and include other identity markers in the analysis in order to generate a nuanced understanding of complex situations, and to develop effective programming in peacebuilding and the water sector.

Keywords: gender, water, peacebuilding, approach, Kenya, Nepal

Topics: Gender, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, LGBTQ, Peacebuilding Regions: Africa, East Africa, Asia, South Asia Countries: Kenya, Nepal

Year: 2018

Climate Change, "Technology" and Gender: "Adapting Women" to Climate Change with Cooking Stoves and Water Reservoirs

Citation:

Gonda, Noémi. 2016. “Climate Change, ‘Technology’ and Gender: ‘Adapting Women’ to Climate Change with Cooking Stoves and Water Reservoirs.” Gender, Technology and Development 20 (2): 149-68.

Author: Noémi Gonda

Abstract:

In the countries most affected by climate change, such as Nicaragua, adaptation technologies are promoted with the twofold aim of securing the livelihoods of rural women and men while reducing the climate-related risks they face. Although researchers and practitioners are usually aware that not every “technology” may be beneficial, they do not sufficiently take into account the injustices that these adaptation technologies could (re)produce. Inspired by the works of feminist scholars engaged in the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS), this article attempts to demonstrate the need to broaden the debate on gender-sensitive climate change adaptation technologies. I argue that, first and foremost, this debate must question the potentially oppressive effects of the climate change narratives that call for technological solutions. Second, I urge feminist researchers and practitioners to denounce the counter-productive effects of adaptation technologies that impede the transformation of the “traditional” gender roles. Based on my ethnographic fieldwork in rural Nicaragua, this article calls for rethinking the role of climate change adaptation technologies in offering possibilities for challenging gender inequalities.

Keywords: climate change adaptation, gender roles, intersectionality, feminist perspective, cooking stoves, water reservoirs, Nicaragua, climate change adaptation

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Nicaragua

Year: 2016

'I Know How Stressful It Is to Lack Water!' Exploring the Lived Experiences of Household Water Insecurity among Pregnant and Postpartum Women in Western Kenya

Citation:

Collins, Shalean M., Patrick Mbullo Owuor, Joshua D. Miller, Godfred O. Boateng, Pauline Wekesa, Maricianah Onono, and Sera L. Young. 2019. “‘I Know How Stressful It Is to Lack Water!’ Exploring the Lived Experiences of Household Water Insecurity among Pregnant and Postpartum Women in Western Kenya.” Global Public Health 14 (5): 649-62.

Authors: Shalean M. Collins, Patrick Mbullo Owuor, Joshua D. Miller, Godfred O. Boateng, Pauline Wekesa, Maricianah Onono, Sera L. Young

Abstract:

There is rapidly evolving literature on water insecurity in the general adult population, but the role of water insecurity during the vulnerable periods of pregnancy and postpartum, or in the context of HIV, has been largely overlooked. Therefore, we conducted an exploratory study, using Go Along interviews, photo-elicitation interviews, and pile sorts with 40 pregnant and postpartum Kenyan women living in an area of high HIV prevalence. We sought to (1) describe their lived experiences of water acquisition, prioritisation, and use and (2) explore the consequences of water insecurity. The results suggest that water insecurity is particularly acute in this period, and impacts women in far-reaching and unexpected ways. We propose a broader conceptualisation of water insecurity to include consideration of the consequences of water insecurity for maternal and infant psychosocial and physical health, nutrition, and economic well-being.

Keywords: HIV, water insecurity, maternal and child health, first 1000 days

Topics: Gender, Health, HIV/AIDS, Reproductive Health, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2019

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

Seasonal Water Insecurity in Urban Philippines: Examining the Role of Gender, Resources, and Context

Citation:

Mason, Lisa Reyes. 2013. “Seasonal Water Insecurity in Urban Philippines: Examining the Role of Gender, Resources, and Context.” PhD diss., Washington University in St. Louis.

Author: Lisa Reyes Mason

Abstract:

Seasonal water insecurity is a complex problem of growing concern in many urban areas, due in part to urbanization, population growth, and environmental change. Using multiple research methods, this study documents the extent and nature of seasonal water insecurity among and within households in an urban neighborhood in Baguio City, the Philippines. This study also examines how individual and household factors--gender and financial, physical, and social resources--and contextual factors may relate to water insecurity by season. Data collection methods include archival research, informal interviews, randomly-sampled household surveys: N=396), randomly-sampled individual subsurveys: N=291), and in-depth interviews: N=18).
 
This study conceptualizes and measures water insecurity along three dimensions: quantity, quality, and accessibility of water for everyday household and individual use. Key findings are that water insecurity varies widely among households in the study neighborhood, and to some extent, within households. These differences are more pronounced in the dry than rainy season. Household financial and physical resources are associated with some dimensions of water insecurity, also with seasonal variation. In general, quantitative methods in this study find few associations between water insecurity and gender or household social resources; relationships among these variables are found, however, using qualitative methods. Neighborhood and municipal factors such as geography, water utility characteristics, and population and environment trends are discussed.
 
This study contributes an important documentation of the heterogeneities in water insecurity that exist among a population and which are often masked by municipal, regional, and national statistics. Study findings also have implications for programs and policies designed to bolster the factors associated with reduced water insecurity by season--in urban areas of the Philippines, and in other countries expecting to experience seasonal water insecurity for the first time or to a greater extent than in the past.

Topics: Development, Environment, Gender, Governance, Households, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Philippines

Year: 2013

Safe Access to Safe Water in Low Income Countries: Water Fetching in Current Times

Citation:

Sorenson, Susan B., Christiaan Morssink, and Paola Abril Campos. 2011. “Safe Access to Safe Water in Low Income Countries: Water Fetching in Current Times.” Social Science & Medicine 72 (9): 1522–6. 

Authors: Susan B. Sorenson, Christiaan Morssink, Paola Abril Campos

Abstract:

A substantial portion of the world's population does not have ready access to safe water. Moreover, obtaining water may involve great expense of time and energy for those who have no water sources in or near home. From an historical perspective, with the invention of piped water, fetching water has only recently become largely irrelevant in many locales. In addition, in most instances, wells and clean surface water were so close by that fetching was not considered a problem. However, population growth, weather fluctuations and social upheavals have made the daily chore of carrying water highly problematic and a public health problem of great magnitude for many, especially women, in the poor regions and classes of the world. In this paper, we consider gender differences in water carrying and summarize data about water access and carrying from 44 countries that participated in the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) program. Women and children are the most common water carriers, and they spend considerable time (many trips take more than an hour) supplying water to their households. Time is but one measure of the cost of fetching water; caloric expenditures, particularly during droughts, and other measures that affect health and quality of life must be considered. The full costs of fetching water must be considered when measuring progress toward two Millennium Development Goals--increasing access to safe drinking water and seeking an end to poverty.

Keywords: economic development, gender, Low-income countries, public health, sex differences, water, water carrying, women's health

Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Health, Households, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, International Organizations, Livelihoods

Year: 2011

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