Cinderella and the Missing Slipper: Gender Dynamics in Water Management in the Coastal Region of Bangladesh
Water Resource Management
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.