wH2O: The Journal of Gender and Water: Volume 4, Issue 1

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  • Publication
    The Theatre and The Latrine: Examining Women’s Health Narratives as a Means for Creating Sustainable Sanitation Infrastructure
    (2017-10-10) Cano, Victoria
    In the summer of 2013, I traveled to Dhaka, Bangladesh to directly observe the relationship between gender advancement and national improvements in sanitation practices. My research and experiences in Bangladesh have led me to the conclusion that, while a great deal has been accomplished in terms of improved sanitation, further improvements cannot be made unless the critical importance of Bangladeshi women, including their sanitation needs and their pivotal position as role models of sanitary behavior, are placed at the forefront of Bangladesh’s, and the world’s, sanitation stratagem. I believe that one of the most effective tools to support this empowerment of women and to further Bangladesh’s sanitation development is the use of community-based theater as a means for creating powerful, positive, and sustainable change.
  • Publication
    Gender Dynamics in Water Governance Institutions: The Case of Gwanda’s Guyu-Chelesa Irrigation Scheme in Zimbabwe
    (2017-10-10) Tagutanazvo, Emelder M.; Dzingirai, Vupenyu T.; Mapedza, Everisto; Van Koppen, Barbara
    The need to incorporate women in development interventions has widely been highlighted in development literature. Despite recent attempts to include women in such efforts, the FAO’s 2011 State of the Agriculture Report points out that gender imbalance is still a major concern. This study focuses on the Guyu-Chelesa irrigation scheme in Zimbabwe in an attempt to understand women’s involvement in water governance institutions that are set up around these schemes. At one level, women are well-represented in these institutions. Nonetheless, despite their representation in positions of high-level decision making, their actual decision-making power is limited. For this reason, this paper argues that women, in water resource infrastructure management and rehabilitation, may be represented in form only, with highly circumscribed powers. This study makes recommendations on how to understand and take into account the differential gender power dynamics which are at play in such irrigation schemes. In particular, the study recommends that access to irrigation be linked to control of calls for a valuation of women’s contribution and the need to engage in broader societal changes as far as gender relations — well beyond the irrigation schemes — are concerned. Such a dialogue would also entail engagement of both men and women.
  • Publication
    Dalit Women and Water
    (2017-10-10) Lazarus, Janice
    The term Dalit means, “crushed” or “broken” and has come to represent those groups which have been traditionally considered to be outside the women in a hamlet in Mahabubnagar district of Andhra Pradesh (now Telangana), India, this paper highlights Dalit women’s experiences related to water use, collection and access that are often shaped by their caste and gender positions. The study is qualitative in nature and employs a phenomenological approach with interviews as the data-collection method. Water is scarce in this community and fetching water often takes place at privately owned wells where discrimination based on caste and gender can incite violence. The lack of public (i.e. state supported) water supply and infrastructure further marginalizes Dalits as they have to depend on privately owned water sources, caste groups. This dependency of Dalits to draw water from sources owned by upper caste individuals creates space for discrimination against Dalits while reinforcing caste structures. Experiences of violence and discrimination while collecting water are documented here as is the effort of women in community to organize and create better access to water.
  • Publication
    The Impacts of Water Shortages on Women’s Time-Space Activities in the High Density Suburb of Mabvuku in Harare
    (2017-10-10) Pahwaringira, Liliosa; Chaminuka, Lillian; Muranda-Kaseke, Kwaedza
    The purpose of this study was to assess how water scarcity affects women’s time-space activity. Time-space activity refers to the lateral distance between locations. In this context time is taken when traveling to and fro collecting water. Space refers to the radius covered. The study was carried out in Mabvuku, a high-density suburb of Harare, Zimbabwe, following observations and reports of serious shortages of water in the area. A case study approach was employed for the study and respondents were selected using purposive and snowball sampling. Data was collected using questionnaires, structured interview guides, and observational surveys. The study showed that there was a widespread water shortage in the suburb and women walked long distances to collect water while men rarely participated in such activities. The impacts affect various household activities, time for socialization, prevalence of waterborne diseases, and personal hygiene. Some of the recommendations include adding more potable water sources in the area, emphasis on education and awareness of water conservation within the household, and setting up water sources committee management in urban areas.
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  • Publication
    Assessment of Water Provision and Associated Risks Among Children in Abeokuta Peri-Urban, Ogun State, Southwestern Nigeria: The Gender Implications
    (2017-10-10) Ayoade, Adegbite A.; Sikiru, Salako; P.O, Okanlawon
    An assessment of water supply challenges and risks facing children in selected peri-urban areas of Abeokuta (Akole-Oke Ata, Obatonko, Adigbe) in Ogun, southwestern Nigeria, was carried out during the dry season, in the months of November 2013 to February 2014. Recognizing that the yield of drinking water sources and water supply from the government were drastically reduced during the dry season, in this study, project leaders aimed to determine children’s involvement in household water provision during the dry season in the peri-urban of Abeokuta Ogun State Southwestern Nigeria, and to further determine the gender distribution, risks and risk indicators, and occurrence of problems among the children during water provision. In the course of the study, a total of 100 water sources (piped water taps, boreholes, dug wells, burst pipes, streams) were visited, and focus group discussion/informal interview methodologies were adopted to gather data from the people at water points. Approximately 827 of the people met at the water points were children, with 800 of those children being girls between the ages of 5-15. The results from these interactions indicated that the girls from each household were responsible for scouting water sources, as well as transportation and storage of the water for household consumption. Out of 800 girls interviewed, 722 reported being late to school, 712 recorded poor school attendance, 456 reported being sexually harassed and/or assaulted, 166 had experienced injury experienced neck and back pain from carrying an excessive load of water, 99 were physically punished by parents or guardians at home when containers got lost, misplaced, or exchanged at the water points, and 184 were punished by the parents or guardians who believed that the girls wasted the water. Some of the respondents (12) preferred going out to provide the water for the family to avoid other domestic work. The majority said they wanted the government and/or parents/guardians to be responsible for adequate water provision for household consumption.
  • Publication
    Sex and Sanitation: Women Taking a Stand So They Can Take a Seat
    (2017-10-10) Laskowski, Stan; Lazos, Pamela J.
    *Disclaimer: Ms. Lazos’ opinions are hers alone and do not represent those of the Agency
  • Publication
    The Accidental Alchemist
    (2017-10-10) Lazos, Pamela J.
    Disclaimer: *Ms. Lazos’ opinions are hers alone and do not represent those of the US Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Publication
    Conceptualizing a Hybrid Framework to Help Improve Gender Outcomes in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programs in India
    (2017-10-10) Lala, Sunetra; Cronic, Aidan A.; Basu, Malika; Nirvana, Jyotsna
    Developing and managing water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs in a sustainable manner contributes to gender equity by improving men’s and women’s access to services and benefits. A gender-sensitive approach to ensure equity in WASH programs can achieve positive outcomes including participatory decision making, empowerment of women, and sustainable programs. Gender analysis frameworks have a long history in development practice to guide strengthened gender outcomes, and opportunities exist to learn from such frameworks to support implementation of WASH programs in developing countries, including India. This paper reviews seven well-established gender analysis frameworks from the Indian WASH context vis-à-vis six key categories, viewed as critical components to gender outcomes and vital to the sustained success of WASH programs, to develop an improved compilation, referred to as the hybrid framework. The hybrid framework combines the strengths of the seven previously established frameworks for optimizing gender outcomes and aims to identify the opportunities for both men and women to shape WASH programs to meet their intended gender and equity objectives. Lastly, this newly developed framework provides a potential platform for local-level processes to use a comprehensive set of quantitative and qualitative indicators under each of the developed six categories provided further field testing and appropriate modification.