wH2O: The Journal of Gender and Water: Volume 6, Issue 1

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  • Publication
    Cinderella and the Missing Slipper: Gender Dynamics in Water Management in the Coastal Region of Bangladesh
    (2019-03-04) Bahauddin, Khalid Md.; Huq, Hamidul
    The water world is socially constructed, reflecting continuous gender inequalities and discrimination by those who hold dominant perspectives on water. This qualitative study was conducted in coastal areas of Bangladesh i.e. Bajua and Laodob union of Dacope upazilla of Khulna district. This study explored the gendered roles, responsibilities, and inequalities of access to and control over water management in the household, irrigation and agriculture. Results of this study lightened the importance of taking into account the complexity of power and negotiation in local water structures within women’s social realities. This study observed that there are considerable gender imbalance with regard to household activities, income generating activities, participation and mobility, ownership and control of resources, decision making power and involvement in different activities in the water management. The distinct roles and the relations between men and women may give rise to gender inequalities where one group is systematically favored and holds advantages over another. Therefore, gender mainstreaming in the water management is an integral dimension to bringing to light the concerns and experiences of both men and women. The study is convinced that dissemination of information with regards to the role of women in the water management and benefits of a gendered approach in the water sector has been neglected. There were inadequate research materials, especially locally in relation to gender, water management and women empowerment, indicating that there either has been not much research conducted to explore the top or there has been no proper documentation of research papers pertaining to the same. Possible areas of further research may include evaluating the gender mainstreaming strategies in the water and agriculture management in the southwest coastal regions of Bangladesh. If strategies are there and people are enlightened, where is the missing link? Lastly, further research is needed to focus on how women knowledge in water management can be translated to community and national benefits.
  • Publication
    Institutions and the Sustainability of Community Borehole Water Supplies in Chiredzi Rural District, Zimbabwe
    (2019-03-04) Tagutanazvo, Emelder Muchadzoka; Bowora, John
    This paper looks at institutions and sustainability of community-owned borehole water suppliers in Chiredzi Rural District of Zimbabwe. It examines the findings in Wards 13, 14 and 15 of Sengwe Communal Lands. The total number of boreholes in the mentioned wards amounts to 58. The paper also investigates the involvement of local institutions in the management of community boreholes, the socio-economic characteristics of the users of the boreholes, the number of boreholes and their functionality, and suggests a measurement of sustenance of the boreholes in the study area. The study uses both quantitative and qualitative methodology. Data were collected from both primary and secondary sources. Data gathering methods included questionnaires, interviews, focus group discussions and observations. The study reveals that in some villages of Sengwe Communal Lands, the majority of local institutions were not effectively involved in management of their boreholes and only a minority were effectively involved. In villages where there was less institutional involvement in the management of boreholes, most of the water points were in poor condition and needed repairs to function properly. The study concludes that there is need for policy- makers, planners, water agencies and water users to work collectively in the management and maintenance of the water points. The study therefore recommends a command approach in addition to the existing practice for sustainable water supply in the study area.
  • Publication
    Water and Women’s Participation The Case of One Million Rural Cisterns Program in Serra Talhada, Pernambuco
    (2019-03-04) Façanha, Islene Pinheiro
    The participation of women is crucial in the domain of water management, given the vital role women play in the collection and maintenance of communal water supplies, and in regulating and controlling its use. Unfortunately, they are seldom considered in the development of water policies, and rarely are they members of bodies regulating water management. Current evidence suggests that the participation of women in rural water supply projects leads to improved outcomes for both women and the wider community. Using interviews, focus groups, questionnaires, and field observation, this paper explores the participation of women in the One Million Rural Cisterns Program, and how this has contributed to more sustainable water management in Serra Talhada, Brazil. The work highlighted the role of women in domestic water management by examining the changes which occurred in communities, and particularly the impact on women’s day to day lives, following implementation of the program, as well as the specific views of women regarding solutions to local problems. This research adds new context-specific data to the understanding of the One Million Rural Cisterns Program and highlights the essential role of the participation of women and gender equity more generally.
  • Publication
    Comparison of Students ́Acceptance of Conventional and Ecological Sanitation in Rural Schools
    (2019-03-04) Wendland, Claudia
    In rural areas of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) without reliable piped water supply, the conventional school sanitation system – the pit latrine – is leading to hygienic and environmental problems. Urine diverting dry toilets (UDDT) have been demonstrated to be an alternative, ecological sanitation solution for rural schools of the EECCA region. This study compares the acceptance, perception and absenteeism of students at schools served by the two different sanitation systems (ecosan versus pit latrine), comprising 18 schools in six countries of the region. A combination of quantitative and qualitative data collection methods was applied: absenteeism data from official school records (only in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus (EEC), a standardized questionnaire, and focus group discussions (FGDs).Results of the EEC school records show that the intervention led to a significant decrease in monthly absenteeism; however, a bigger school sample size is needed to confirm the results. Overall, high acceptance of school toilets can be translated into sanitation conditions providing comfort, cleanliness and privacy. Both male and female students preferred the UDDTs compared to pit latrines in all studied countries. The acceptance is significantly higher inareas where pit latrines are predominant, as in Central Asia (CA), in contrast to EEC. The study highlights the impact poor quality sanitation has on students` fluid intake especially in CA. Girls benefit more from the intervention, as they suffer more than boys from the inadequate sanitation conditions of the common pit latrines in rural schools.
  • Publication
    Interview with Philadelphia Water Expert Tiffany Ledesma
    (2019-03-04) Ilyas, Mahvish
    Tiffany Ledesma leads the Public Engagement Team for the Public Affairs Division at the Philadelphia Water Department, where she has spent 15 years as a contract employee, currently employed by CDM Smith. Tiffany’s background is in water resources and her expertise is in public affairs, partnership development, capacity- building and strategic communications. Tiffany is especially passionate about work in urban communities. The Public Engagement Team helps facilitate the implementation of infrastructure investments in the City of Philadelphia, including Green City, Clean Waters, through creative community outreach, public participation and program development. Tiffany holds a bachelor of arts from Villanova University and a master’s in environmental studies from University of Pennsylvania.
  • Publication
    How Important is Gender in Transboundary Groundwater Governance?: A Question for the Ramotswa Aquifer in Southern Africa
    (2019-03-04) Hawkins, Stephanie; Lefore, Nicole; Sakuringwa, Saniso; Thathana, Matshidiso
    In semi-arid Sub-Saharan Africa, groundwater is a critical resource for rural livelihoods given the pressures on surface water and lack of piped delivery. Socially defined gen- der roles in water management often create disparities and inequalities regarding water access, use, and labour, making consideration of gender issues an important component of groundwater governance. Resources shared across borders raises the question about the relevance of and approach to gender in transboundary ground- water governance. This paper explores this question in light of the lack of gender responsive governance arrangements over transboundary groundwater resources. It uses qualitative methodologies to examine the need for institutional approaches to improve gender sensitivity and equality in transboundary groundwater cooperation. The paper seeks to assess how legal instruments on gender and transboundary water resources influence equality for women and men in terms of: reach of water access, benefits of water use, and empowerment. First, it analyses the level of gender sensi- tivity in international and regional instruments that provide the governance frame- work for transboundary groundwater. It then proposes a new integrated framework for analysis, which it applies to the case study of the Ramotswa aquifer – a resource shared between South Africa and Botswana. The paper examines the extent to which international instruments, national law and local programmes and projects related to transboundary groundwater governance correspond with the realities on the ground. The results uncover constraints in both countries regarding equal participation in decision-making, deficiencies in meeting gendered needs and ensuring benefits, and disempowering legal frameworks. The paper concludes with entry points that link transboundary water governance and local level water management, offering potential indicators that can inform governance and programming, and enable improved moni- toring of the implementation of gender responsiveness at multiple levels.