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Water & Sanitation

Water Rich, Resource Poor: Intersections of Gender, Poverty, and Vulnerability in Newly Irrigated Areas of Southeastern Turkey

Citation:

Harris, Leila M. 2008. “Water Rich, Resource Poor: Intersections of Gender, Poverty, and Vulnerability in Newly Irrigated Areas of Southeastern Turkey.” World Development 36 (12): 2643–62.

Author: Leila M. Harris

Abstract:

The provision of water for drinking and irrigation is often assumed to alleviate poverty, though results are likely to be mixed for different individuals. This paper examines the intersections of gender poverty, livelihoods, landlessness, and related considerations in the context of large-scale water development in Turkey’s Southeastern Anatolia region, particularly exploring what such an analysis allows for an understanding of variable and differentiated effects of ongoing changes. Findings suggest that certain populations experience enhanced vulnerabilities, and considerable losses, in addition to any gains and benefits of ongoing changes (particularly the landless, poor, some women, and those who previously engaged in animal husbandry). This discussion contributes to a growing gender and water literature, arguing for an intersectional analysis that understands gender as necessarily conditioned by poverty, livelihoods, and other factors. Further, I argue for the need to further enrich analyses of differentiated benefits and vulnerabilities of water-related changes through consideration of geographic, spatial, and place-specific dimensions.

Keywords: gender, water, irrigation, poverty, development, middle east, Turkey

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Gender, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods Regions: MENA, Asia, Europe, Southern Europe Countries: Turkey

Year: 2008

Stepping into Formal Politics: Women’s Engagement in Formal Political Processes in Irrigation in Rural India

Citation:

Girard, Alexandra M. 2014. “Stepping into Formal Politics: Women’s Engagement in Formal Political Processes in Irrigation in Rural India.” World Development 57 (May): 1–18.

Author: Alexandra M. Girard

Abstract:

Gender quotas, decentralization of irrigation management, and reliance on MGNREGA for labor provision challenge the traditional patriarchal canal management system by institutionalizing women as formal decision-makers and members of the irrigation labor force in northern India. Based on a survey of 592 women in rural Himachal Pradesh, this paper quantitatively analyses how these policies affect women’s engagement in formal political processes. Results indicate that factors from the private and individual domains influence female participation in formal political processes. Most importantly, India’s gender inclusive policies provide women with the opportunity to legitimately engage in formal political processes governing resource management.

Keywords: women, political participation, MGNREGA, irrigation, India, South Asia

Topics: Development, Gender, Women, Governance, Quotas, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Political Participation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2014

Women’s Participation in Community-Level Water Governance in Urban India: The Gap Between Motivation and Ability

Citation:

Das, Priyam. 2014. “Women’s Participation in Community-Level Water Governance in Urban India: The Gap Between Motivation and Ability.” World Development 64 (December): 206–18.

Author: Priyam Das

Abstract:

Efforts by international development agencies to design gender-sensitive projects have sharpened their focus on women’s participation in community-level water governance. In some cases, such goals have enhanced women’s self-confidence and developed their skills despite having negligible impact on project outcomes. In others, they have simply been reduced to tokenism. This paper analyzes community-managed water supply projects for the urban poor in Madhya Pradesh, India, to provide a better understanding of the gap between women’s motivation to participate and their ability or agency to do so. It highlights how bridging this gap could be pivotal in strengthening women’s role in water governance.

Keywords: gender, women, participation, community-managed water supply, urban, India, South Asia

Topics: Development, Gender, Women, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2014

Gender and Water in India: A Review

Citation:

Kulkarni, Seema. 2016. “Gender and Water in India: A Review.” In Indian Water Policy at the Crossroads: Resources, Technology and Reforms, edited by Vishal Narain and Annasamy Narayanamoorthy, 73–91. Global Issues in Water Policy 16. Springer Science & Business Media B.V. 

Author: Seema Kulkarni

Abstract:

This chapter provides an overview of key issues in the area of gender and water. It gives an overview of different debates around women and environment and shows how these have shaped the discourse and practice around gender and water. The chapter then goes on to discuss the reforms in the water sector at the global level and how this has impacted the discussions around gender and water. A comprehensive review of literature is done in the context of India which covers the various writings and actions in the area of gender and water. The review specifically looks at gender and equity issues in the areas of rivers, dams and displacement, water for production and domestic water. The chapter argues for going beyond the politics of representation and developing new agendas and creative forms of engagement with people’s movements- more specifically women’s movements, farmers movements and unions working on the question of growing informalisation of the economy, greater accumulation of capital, increasing injustices and disparities in everyday living- to see the linkages between land, water, rivers, natural resources and livelihoods.

The chapter argues for going beyond the politics of representation and developing new agendas and creative forms of engagement with people’s movements- more specifically women’s movements, farmers movements and unions working on the question of growing informalisation of the economy, greater accumulation of capital, increasing injustices and disparities in everyday living- to see the linkages between land, water, rivers, natural resources and livelihoods. (Abstract from Springer Link)

Keywords: Domestic water, Water for Production, Dams and displacement, ecofeminism, gender

Topics: Civil Society, Displacement & Migration, Forced Migration, Economies, Economic Inequality, Poverty, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, Households, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods, Political Participation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2016

HIV and H2O: Tracing the Connections Between Gender, Water and HIV

Citation:

West, Brooke S., Jennifer S. Hirsch, and Wafaa El-sadr. 2013. “HIV and H2O: Tracing the Connections Between Gender, Water and HIV.” AIDS and Behavior 17 (5): 1675–82.

Authors: Brooke S. West, Jennifer S. Hirsch, Wafaa El-sadr

Abstract:

The health consequences for HIV-affected families of insufficient access to safe water and sanitation are particularly dire: inadequate access complicates medication adherence and increases vulnerability to opportunistic infections for persons living with HIV. The gendered nature of water collection and HIV care--with women disproportionately bearing the burden in both areas--presents an unrealized opportunity to improve HIV outcomes through investments in water/sanitation. We synthesize the literature on HIV and water/sanitation to develop a conceptual model that maps the connections between women's double burden of resource collection and HIV care. Drawing on theories of gender and systems science, we posit that there are multiple paths through which improved water/sanitation could improve HIV-related outcomes. Our findings suggest that the positive synergies of investing in water/sanitation in high HIV prevalence communities that are also expanding access to ART would be significant, with health multiplying effects that impact women and entire communities.

Keywords: Water and sanitation, HIV, Antiretroviral therapy, Sub-Saharan Africa, gender

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health, HIV/AIDS, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa

Year: 2013

(Re-)Conceptualizing Water Inequality in Delhi, India through a Feminist Political Ecology Framework

Citation:

Truelove, Yaffa. 2011. “(Re-)Conceptualizing Water Inequality in Delhi, India through a Feminist Political Ecology Framework.” Geoforum, Themed Issue: New Feminist Political Ecologies, 42 (2): 143–52. doi:10.1016/j.geoforum.2011.01.004.

Author: Yaffa Truelove

Abstract:

This article demonstrates how a feminist political ecology (FPE) framework can be utilized to expand scholarly conceptualizations of water inequality in Delhi, India. I argue that FPE is well positioned to complement and deepen urban political ecology work through attending to everyday practices and micropolitics within communities. Specifically, I examine the embodied consequences of sanitation and ‘water compensation’ practices and how patterns of criminality are tied to the experience of water inequality. An FPE framework helps illuminate water inequalities forged on the body and within particular urban spaces, such as households, communities, streets, open spaces and places of work. Applying FPE approaches to the study of urban water is particularly useful in analyzing inequalities associated with processes of social differentiation and their consequences for everyday life and rights in the city. An examination of the ways in which water practices are productive of particular urban subjectivities and spaces complicates approaches that find differences in distribution and access to be the primary lens for viewing how water is tied to power and inequality.

Keywords: water, inequality, gender, Urban India, Criminality, Environmental politics, feminist political ecology

Topics: Caste, Civil Society, Class, Corruption, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology, Gender, Gender Analysis, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Political Economies Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2011

Women, Water, and Development

Citation:

Ray, Isha. 2007. “Women, Water, and Development.” Annual Review of Environment and Resources 32 (1): 421–49. doi:10.1146/annurev.energy.32.041806.143704.

Author: Isha Ray

Abstract:

That women play a central role in the provision, management, and safeguarding of water is one of the four internationally accepted principles of water management. This principle is especially important for the developing world where millions of women lack access to water for their basic needs. The objectives of this chapter are to summarize what is known about women with respect to water and about water with respect to women as well as to provide a sense of the current debates around these themes. A review of the literature suggests that the lack of gender-disaggregated data on the impacts of water policies, and underlying disagreements on how gender and development should be theorized, makes it difficult to reach robust conclusions on which policies can best assure poor women reliable access to water for their lives and livelihoods.

Topics: Development, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2007

'They Are Not of This House’: The Gendered Costs of Drinking Water’s Commodification

Citation:

O’Reilly, Kathleen. 2011. “‘They Are Not of This House’: The Gendered Costs of Drinking Water’s Commodification.” Economic & Political Weekly, Review of Women’s Studies, 46 (18): 49–55.

Author: Kathleen O’Reilly

Abstract:

While women’s participation is considered a key element of the sustainability plan of the drinking water supply system, some villagers in Rajasthan do not count women in the households while paying common water charges. This paper explores the social, political and environmental implications of not counting girls as household members and drinkers of water. It tries to find answers to the following questions: What are the implications of girls’ non-payment for the cost of drinking water in a shared system? What might girls’ non-payment mean in terms of the gendered sustainability goals of the project? What are the implications for women’s and girls’ political subjectivity, especially where natural resources are concerned?

The paper also addresses a gap in the political ecology literature with respect to the gender dimensions of neo-liberal processes in the water sector by
suggesting a variety of impacts when girls are excluded from water payment.

Topics: Gender, Women, Girls, Gender Analysis, Governance, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Political Economies Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2011

Gendered Water Spaces: A Study of the Transition from Wells to Handpumps in Mozambique

Citation:

Houweling, Emily Van. 2015. “Gendered Water Spaces: A Study of the Transition from Wells to Handpumps in Mozambique.” Gender, Place & Culture 22 (10): 1391–407. 

Author: Emily Van Houweling

Abstract:

In many parts of rural Africa, women and children spend a lot of time collecting water. In the development literature, the water collection task is portrayed as oppressive, arduous, and disliked by women. Eliminating this activity from women's lives is believed to empower them, yet there has been little research investigating what actually happens at the water source or how women themselves perceive the time spent there. This research is based on one year of ethnographic fieldwork in five rural communities in the northern province of Nampula, Mozambique. Over this year, handpumps were constructed in communities where people previously collected water from distant shallow wells and rivers. This article compares the social interactions and activities between the customary water sites and the handpump through the lens of gendered space. The customary water sites are controlled by women and highly valued for their social attributes. While clean water is more accessible at the handpumps, men often regulate access to the technology and social activities are limited. This article contributes to feminist geography and political ecology by showing how differences in the materiality of water spaces interact with local norms to shape social interactions and gendered subjectivities, and how, in turn, men and women contribute to the production and meaning of these spaces. I argue that the handpumps open up new spaces for men and women to negotiate gender roles and (re)define their associations with modernity and development.

Keywords: water, gender, women, Mozambique, africa

Topics: Gender, Women, Men, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Political Economies Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Mozambique

Year: 2015

Human Right to Water: Contemporary Challenges and Contours of a Global Debate

Citation:

Mirosa, Oriol, and Leila M. Harris. 2012. “Human Right to Water: Contemporary Challenges and Contours of a Global Debate.” Antipode 44 (3): 932–49. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8330.2011.00929.x.

Authors: Oriol Mirosa, Leila M. Harris

Abstract:

In recent years, significant debate has taken place around the concept of the “human right to water”. In this paper, we seek to respond to recent critiques and clarify the terms of the debate by presenting an in-depth exploration of the human right to water. We explore several critiques of the concept, situate it in the context of the current neoliberalization of water provision and in relation to contemporary water challenges, and present some examples of how it has been deployed to further the cause of access to water for vulnerable populations in varied contexts. We conclude that, rather than abandoning the concept as critics have suggested, the human right to water maintains importance as a discourse and strategy in the contemporary moment.

Keywords: human rights, water, social movements, privatization

Topics: Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Rights, Human Rights

Year: 2012

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