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Water & Sanitation

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

Time Spent on Household Chores (Fetching Water) and the Alternatives Forgone for Women in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Kenya

Citation:

Agesa, Richard U., and Jacqueline Agesa. 2019. “Time Spent on Household Chores (Fetching Water) and the Alternatives Forgone for Women in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Kenya.” The Journal of Developing Areas 53 (2): 29-42.

Authors: Richard U. Agesa, Jacqueline Agesa

Abstract:

Due to a lack of piped water, household members in sub-Saharan Africa, typically girls, fetch water from sources outside the home. We offer the first econometric study that considers a fetching water/schooling time tradeoff as a possible and partial explanation for the relatively high dropout rate for girls in school. Our empirical technique fist estimates a baseline probit where the dependent variable is one if the individual is enrolled in school and zero if the individual is not enrolled. The covariates are factors which may influence school attendance. However, such a specification may be vulnerable to omitted variable bias. To account for this possibility, we estimate the average treatment effect by augmenting the probit model with instruments which may induce 'treatment' of time spent fetching water i.e. whether the individual resides in a household connected to electricity. Our data is drawn from the 2004/2005 Kenya Integrated Household Budget Survey. Our findings shed new light. In particular, we find that the interaction between the female dummy variable and time spent fetching water is negative and statically significant suggesting that the incidence of not attending school, due to fetching water, is relatively higher for females. This finding is further reinforced by the coefficient on the female dummy variable which is negative and statistically significant, suggesting that being female in Kenya, and in much of SSA, reduces the probability of enrolling and spending time in school. Taken together, our findings are consistent with the notion, and provide evidence for the anecdotal view in the literature that the high dropout rate for girls in school may in part be explained by a fetching water/schooling time tradeoff. To reduce the time individuals spend fetching water from sources outside the home, we suggest that a policy prescription that offers a requisite infrastructure, typically provided for through public means, may reduce the cost for households of connecting piped water to their homes. Importantly, such a policy action would be effective in reducing the time spent fetching water not only for females but for males as well.

Keywords: fetching-water, schooling, gender, Kenya, africa

Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Education, Gender, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2019

An Ethos of Responsibility and Indigenous Women Water Protectors in the #NoDAPL Movement

Citation:

Privott, Meredith. 2019. “An Ethos of Responsibility and Indigenous Women Water Protectors in the #NoDAPL Movement.” American Indian Quarterly 43 (1): 74–100.

Author: Meredith Privott

Abstract:

This work builds upon Elizabeth Archuleta's (Yaqui) term “ethos of responsibility” by contextualizing it within the #NoDAPL movement and applies a cultural rhetorics methodology to constellate an understanding of an ethos of responsibility utilized by Indigenous women water protectors in the #NoDAPL movement, as seen in video-recorded interviews selected from the #NoDAPL digital archive. This study attempts to understand the rhetoric of Indigenous women water protectors through the lens of Indigenous feminism(s), Indigenous rhetoric(s), and Dakota/Lakota/Nakota history and worldviews. When speaking from an ethos of responsibility, the water protectors featured in this study locate agency in traditional teachings and in the experience of Indigenous women, including responsive care in/to the interconnectedness of life, the special role of women in the care of water, and the collective survival of Indigenous women in colonial and patriarchal violence.

Keywords: indigenous women, Indigenous feminisms, cultural rhetorics, water protection, Standing Rock, activism, decolonization, ethos, sexual violence, #NoDAPL

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Rights, Indigenous Rights Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2019

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

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