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Gender, Water and Development

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A. Coles
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There is a renewed global commitment to 'water for all'. Yet even though women are usually responsible for domestic water provision, their needs and voices continue to be marginalised in the development process. A close analysis of current policy and practice shows that organisations providing improved water supplies to poor communities typically neglect the gendered nature of access to and control over water resources. The resulting gender bias causes injustices and inefficiencies in water provision and reduces the effectiveness of well-meant efforts. Deepening understanding of the ways in which gender shapes who has control over water, who gets access, the different needs and positions of women and men, and the issue of rights, is crucial for development. Through contributions from both practitioners and academics, this book shows how, in different environmental, historical and cultural contexts, gender has been an important element in water provision. Case studies include analysis of the role of water in inhibiting the fight against HIV/AIDS in southern Africa, and the challenges of taking gender into account in large water projects in India and Nepal.

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