Women and water resources: Continued marginalisation and new policies
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Water policies have shifted focus from planning and implementation of projects to water resources management. The idea is to have frameworks established by governments and donors, but it is up to the people to create, and manage the facilities. This paper raises some gender related questions on these approaches. The authors fear that some of these new approaches will marginalize women as water resources mangers. 1- By dealing with water as an economic resource, health and social benefits of water can be undermined. 2- Unless health benefits are calculated, investments will not include sanitation and health education. 3- Water as an economic resource may be privatized and sold to communities, which harms those who have no ability to pay. 4- Often decision-making communities are different from water-using communities. These four points seem to take a gender-neutral approach, which can be threatening to women's roles in water resources management. The article recommends that data be disaggregated by gender.