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Water and gender

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Product Description

By Kathleen Bowmer

Published: 2008
ISBN: 978-1-921348-11-2
Pages: ii+110



Kathleen Bowmer
Charles Sturt University, NSW

This special issue of Rural Society on Water Policy and Gender is critical and timely. Already an estimated one billion people are short of safe water supplies for drinking and basic life needs and it is foreshadowed that lack of access to clean reliable freshwater will be the world's greatest threat in the 21st century. In many cultures men and women are affected differently by these challenges, so gender ought to be explicit in designing policy, aid, communication and education programmes.

However, authors from Malawi, China, India, Kenya and Uganda highlight the struggle of rural women to access water and the disturbing gap between government policy and on-ground reality. It seems that inequity in representation and decision-making is still a major problem in the developing world.

Australian authors, as might be expected, were more concerned with gender differences relating to quality of life and dealing with the current drought. They report on the cultural values of water, risk perception and water quality, opportunities for water recycling, and methods for analysing gender differences in domestic water use. They also describe the challenges of dealing with powerful interests and the suppression of women's voices. They support a broader range of social and cultural approaches to water policy, beyond utilitarian economic considerations.

In spite of international consensus and agreements achieved at numerous well-intentioned summits and conferences, the lack of effective public participation and the suppression of women's interests and voices emerge as recurrent themes.

Table of Contents

Guest Editorial
Kathleen Bowmer

Gender issues in water user associations in China: A case study in Gansu Province
Caizhen Lu

Bearing the cost: An examination of the gendered impacts of water policy reform in Malawi
Simona Marra

Building rain water tanks and building skills: A case study of a women's organization in Uganda
Deborah Payne, Margaret Nakato, Caroline Nabalango

Gender and water from a human rights perspective: The role of context in translating international norms into local action
Nandita Singh, Karsten Åström, Håkan Hydén, Per Wickenberg

Water abstraction in Southwestern Kenya
Paul Yillia, Norbert Kreuzinger, Jude M Mathooko

My water's fine, isn't it?: An exploration of the gendered perception of water quality and security in Australia
Andrea Crampton, Angela Ragusa

Who determines access to Australia's water?: Social flow, gender, citizenship and stakeholder priorities in the Australian water crisis
Margaret Alston, Robyn Mason

Water-recycling in South-East Queensland, Australia: What do men and women think?
Evonne Miller, Laurie Buys

Act on Gender: A peep into intra-household water use in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) region
Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt, Kate Harriden

Utilising diversity to achieve water equity
Justine Lacey

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