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Water & Sanitation

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

Public Infrastructure and Private Costs: Water Supply and Time Allocation of Women in Rural Pakistan

Citation:

Ilahi, Nadeem, and Franque Grimard. 2000. “Public Infrastructure and Private Costs: Water Supply and Time Allocation of Women in Rural Pakistan.” Economic Development and Cultural Change 49 (1): 45–75.

Authors: Nadeem Ilahi, Franque Grimard

Annotation:

Summary
"The critical role that women play in alleviating poverty and promoting development has been receiving increasing attention. In developing countries, for example, women's role is critical in improving the nutritional and educational levels of their children. In addition, women are major contributors to household production activities, both in monetary and nonmonetary ways. Despite this, women's access to resources has been limited, especially in contrast to that of men" (Ilahi and Grimard 2000, 45). 
 
"Our objective in this article was to focus on the relationship between access to water - both at the community and household levels - and the time allocation of women, who have the  primary responsibility for water collection. We found that changes in the availability of water infrastructure affect time use at two levels - that of the household and that of the individual within the household. Our results show that improvements in water-supply infrastructure would lower the total time women spend in all activities, with a substitution of water collection for income generating activities. Investments in such infrastructure would not only lower the total work burden of women, but it would also change the nature of women's contribution to the household - from performing every-day chores to doing income-generating work" (67).

Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Pakistan

Year: 2000

Local Organisation and Gender in Water Management: A Case Study from the Kenya Highlands

Citation:

Were, Elizabeth, Jessica Roy, and Brent Swallow. 2008. “Local Organisation and Gender in Water Management: A Case Study from the Kenya Highlands.” Journal of International Development 20 (1): 69–81.

Authors: Elizabeth Were, Jessica Roy, Brent Swallow

Abstract:

Provision of safe water supplies is a priority for the global community and for villages in Kenya. An extended case study from the highlands of Western Kenya shows that local communities can be successful in self‐organisation for improved water supply, but only by mobilising considerable amounts of investment resources and local collective action. Gender relations are crucial to success, with women having primary responsibility for water management, but more or less hidden roles in community groups. There are legitimate concerns that Kenya's new water laws and institutions may make it more difficult for local community groups to self‐organise, with additional biases against women.

Keywords: water, springs, women, gender, collective action, Kipsigis, legal pluralism, africa

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

Year: 2008

Introduction: Global Perspectives on Gender–Water Geographies

Citation:

O’Reilly, Kathleen, Sarah Halvorson, Farhana Sultana, and Nina Laurie. 2009. “Introduction: Global Perspectives on Gender–Water Geographies.” Gender, Place & Culture 16 (4): 381–5. 

Authors: Kathleen O'Reilly, Sarah Halvorson, Farhana Sultana, Nina Laurie

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT
This introduction summarizes the work featured in the themed section of Gender, Place and Culture titled ‘Global geographies of gender and water’. It brings into dialogue scholars investigating a variety of gender–water relationships at different scales, including: poisoned waterscapes; fishing practices; and the implications of neoliberal water policies. The authors featured purposefully engage with the multi-faceted ways in which experiences, discourses and policies of water are gendered, and how gender is created through processes of access, use and control of water resources. In bringing these articles together, we have consciously aimed to support inclusive, feminist collaborative work and to prioritize diversity.
 
SPANISH ABSTRACT
Esta introducción resume el trabajo presentado en la sección temática de Gender, Place and Culture titulada “Geografías globales de género y agua.” Reúne a académicos investigando una variedad de relaciones género-agua a diferentes escalas, incluyendo: paisajes de agua contaminados; prácticas de pesca; y las implicancias de las políticas neoliberales de agua. Los autores presentados se ocupan expresamente de las multifacéticas formas en que las experiencias, discursos y políticas de agua están generizadas, y de cómo el género es creado a través de procesos de acceso, uso y control de los recursos de agua. Reuniendo estos artículos hemos apuntado concientemente a apoyar el trabajo inclusivo, feminista y colaborativo, y a priorizar la diversidad.
 
JAPANESE ABSTRACT

Keywords: gender, water, neoliberalism, nature-society, modernity, agua, neoliberalismo, naturaleza-sociedad, modernidad, gênero

Topics: Development, Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gendered Discourses, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods

Year: 2009

Gendered Waters: The Participation of Women in the ‘One Million Cisterns’ Rainwater Harvesting Program in the Brazilian Semi-Arid Region

Citation:

de Moraes, Andrea Ferreira Jacques, and Cecilia Rocha. 2013. “Gendered Waters: The Participation of Women in the ‘One Million Cisterns’ Rainwater Harvesting Program in the Brazilian Semi-Arid Region.” Journal of Cleaner Production 60 (December): 163–9.

Authors: Andrea Ferreira Jacques de Moraes, Cecilia Rocha

Abstract:

Women, especially in developing countries, are often responsible for managing water at the household level. However, they are rarely represented in bodies that decide on water management, and they hardly play a role in the implementation of projects to increase water access. While the need for enhanced gender equity in water management is acknowledged in the international development discourse, the complexities of implementing it are poorly understood. This article presents a qualitative case study of women participation in the Program ‘One Million Cisterns’ in the Brazilian Semi-Arid region, to illustrate the promise and the challenges of bringing about women's participation and empowering. The case study shows that women not only derived significant material benefits from the program (access to water), they also acquired roles and responsibilities - as cistern builders and as members of local water commissions - that traditionally had been reserved for men. Key for this transformational process, we argue, was the role played by local feminist NGOs and social movements who helped rural women create new spaces for social inclusion in water development.

Keywords: water management, gender and development, Latin America, Brazil, Women and water, gender inequality, Rainwater harvesting

Topics: Development, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Governance, Households, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods, NGOs Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Brazil

Year: 2013

Fluid Lives: Subjectivities, Gender and Water in Rural Bangladesh

Citation:

Sultana, Farhana. 2009. “Fluid Lives: Subjectivities, Gender and Water in Rural Bangladesh.” Gender, Place & Culture 16 (4): 427–44.

Author: Farhana Sultana

Abstract:

This article seeks to contribute to the emerging debates in gender–water and gender–nature literatures by looking at the ways that gendered subjectivities are simultaneously (re)produced by societal, spatial and natural/ecological factors, as well as materialities of the body and of heterogeneous waterscapes. Drawing from fieldwork conducted in Bangladesh on arsenic contamination of drinking water, the article looks at the ways that gender relations are influenced by not just direct resource use/control/access and the implications of different types of waters, but also by the ideological constructs of masculinity/femininity, which can work in iterative ways to influence how people relate to different kinds of water. Conflicts and struggles over water inflect gendered identities and sense of self, where both men and women participate in reproducing and challenging prevailing norms and practices. As a result, multiple social and ecological factors interact in complex and interlinked ways to complicate gender–water relations, whereby socio-spatial subjectivities are re/produced in water management and end up reinforcing existing inequities. The article demonstrates that gender–water relations are not just intersected by social axes, as generally argued by feminist scholars, but also by ecological change and spatial relations vis-à-vis water, where simultaneously socialized, ecologized, spatialized and embodied subjectivities are produced and negotiated in everyday practices.

Keywords: gender, water, Bangladesh, Subjectivity, arsenic

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Analysis, Femininity/ies, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Political Economies Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2009

Diverting the Flow: Gender Equity and Water in South Asia

Citation:

Zwarteveen, Margreet, Sara Ahmed, and Suman Rimal Gautam, eds. 2012. Diverting the Flow: Gender Equity and Water in South Asia. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Authors: Margreet Zwarteveen, Sara Ahmed, Suman Rimal Guatam

Annotation:

Summary:
South Asia's significant water resources are unevenly distributed, with about a fifth of the population lacking adequate access. Across the region this vital substance determines livelihoods and in some cases even survival. By revealing the extent to which water access depends on power relations and politics, Diverting the Flow offers new perspectives on the relationship between gender equity and water issues in South Asia.
 
Drawing on empirical research and relevant theoretical frameworks, the contributors show how gender intersects with other axes of social difference--such as class, caste, ethnicity, age, and religion--to shape water use and management practices. Each of the volume's six thematic sections begins by introducing key concepts, debates, and theories before moving on to parse such issues as rights, policies, technologies, and intervention strategies. Taken together, they demonstrate that gender issues are the key to understanding and improving water distribution and management practices in the region. Featuring work by leading scholars in the field, this volume will be essential reading for students and scholars of water, gender, and development in South Asia. (Summary from University of Chicago Press
 
Table of Contents
1. Gender and Water in South Asia: Revisiting Perspectives, Policies and Practice
Sara Ahmed and Margreet Zwarteveen
 
2. Understanding Gendered Agency in Water Governance
Frances Cleaver
 
3. Gender, Water Laws and Policies: An Introduction
Margreet Zwarteveen and Sara Ahmed
 
4. Decentralising or Marginalising Women: Gender Relations and Sector Reforms in India
Seema K. Kulkarni and K.J. Joy
 
5. The Right to Water in Different Discourses
Priya Sangameswaran
 
6. Water Rights and Gender Rights: The Sri Lanka Experience
Kusum Athukorala and Ruana Rajepakse
 
7. Gender in Drinking Water and Sanitation: An Introduction
Deepa Joshi and Margreet Zwarteveen
 
8. Sanitation for the Urban Poor: Gender Matters
Deepa Joshi, Ben Fawcett and Fouzia Mannan
 
9. Reducing a Community’s Water and Sanitation Burden: Insights from Maharashtra
Nitish Jha
 
10. Gendered Waters, Poisoned Wells: Political Ecology of the Arsenic Crisis in Bangladesh
Farhana Sultana
 
11. Modern Water for Modern Women: Questioning the Relationship between Gender, Empowerment and Participation
Kathleen O’Reilly
 
12. Gender, Water and Agrarian Change: An Introduction
Margreet Zwarteveen
 
13. Groundwater Vending and Appropriation of Women’s Labour: Gender, Water Scarcity and Agrarian Change in a Gujarati Village, India
Anjal Prakash
 
14. Highlighting the User in Waste Water Irrigation Research: Gender, Class and Caste Dynamics of Livelihoods near Hyderabad, India
Stephanie Buechler and Gayathri Devi Mekala
 
15. Gender and Water Technologies: An Introduction
Margreet Zwarteveen
 
16. Farming Women and Irrigation Technology: Cases from Nepal
Bhawana Upadhyay
 
17. Gender and Water Technologies: Linking the Variables in Arsenic and Fluoride Mitigation
Nandita Singh
 
18. Perspectives on Gender and Large Dams
Lyla Mehta
 
19. Large Water Control Mechanisms: Gender Impact of the Damodar Valley Corporation, India
Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt
 
20. Strategies to Address Gendered Water Concerns: An Introduction
Suman Rimal Gautam and Margreet Zwarteveen
 
21. Improving Processes of Natural Resources Management at the Grassroots: The Case of the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA)
Smita Mishra Panda and Ravi Sannabhadti
 
22. Thinking and Acting on Gender Issues: The Interface of Policy, Culture and Identity
Pranita Bhushan Udas
 
23. Adopting a Gender Approach in a Water and Sanitation Project: The Case of the 4WS Project in Coastal Communities in South Asia
Christine Sijbesma, Kochurani Mathew, Rashika Nishshanka, Palitha Jayaweera, Marielle Snel, Helvi Heinonen-Tanski, Avizit Reaz Quazi, M.D. Jakariya

Topics: Caste, Class, Development, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods, Religion Regions: Asia, South Asia

Year: 2012

Coping with History and Hydrology: How Kenya's Settlement and Land Tenure Patterns Shape Contemporary Water Rights and Gender Relations in Water

Citation:

Onyango, Leah, Brent Swallow, Jessica L. Roy, and Ruth Meinzen-Dick. 2007. “Coping with History and Hydrology: How Kenya’s Settlement and Land Tenure Patterns Shape Contemporary Water Rights and Gender Relations in Water.” In Community-Based Water Law and Water Resource Management Reform in Developing Countries, edited by Barbara van Koppen, Mark Giordano, and John Butterworth, 173–95. Oxfordshire: CAB International.

Authors: Leah Onyango, Brent Swallow, Jessica L. Roy, Ruth Meinzen-Dick

Abstract:

Like many other African countries described in this volume, Kenya has recently enacted several new policies and public-sector reforms that affect its water sector. This chapter considers those reforms in the context of the country's particular history of land tenure and settlement, a history that continues to have a profound influence on contemporary patterns of land and water management as well as on gender relations in water. The chapter focuses on the particular case of a river basin in Western Kenya, the Nyando river basin (3517 km 2), that has its outlet in Lake Victoria. Over the last century, the Nyando river basin has experienced a history that has shaped spatial patterns of land tenure, settlement and water management. The plural land management systems that exist in the basin today are the product of three distinct periods of historical change: (i) the pre-colonial era that was dominated by customary landholding and land rights systems; (ii) the colonial era in which large areas of land were alienated for specific users and the majority of the Kenyan population confined to native reserve areas; and (iii) the post-colonial era that has encouraged large-scale private ownership of land by men and a small public-sector ownership of irrigation land, all against the backdrop of customary norms and the colonial pattern of settlement and land use. Both colonial and post-colonial institutions have largely disre-garded women's rights to land and water resources. Although customary norms are consistent in ensuring access to water for all members of particular ethnic groups, in practice access and management of water points vary across the basin depending upon the historically defined pattern of landownership and settlement. Customary norms that secure the rights of women to water resources tend to have most impact in former native reserve areas and least impact in ethnically heterogeneous resettlement areas held under leasehold tenure. Recommendations are made on how new policies, legislation and government institutions could be more effec-tive in promoting the water needs of rural communities in Kenya.

Keywords: legal pluralism, land tenure, water tenure, gender roles, integrated natural resource management, Property Rights, policy framework, community participation

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Development, Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2007

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