Linking women to the main canal: Gender and irrigation management

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London, UK: IIED


According to the author, irrigation systems can benefit from more care in gender analysis. The article focuses on three main areas that could benefit from more equitable and effective design and policies. The first area is systems engineering and design, and it is important to ask who benefits and how will it affect men and women. Because men and women have different experiences with water and irrigation systems, the increase of participation of both at every stage of the project can be beneficial to all. The second area is legal focusing on administrative and organizational issues. Gender analysis brings visibility to discrepancies in rights and accessibility by recognizing those not considered as farmers, or those who first lose their rights when water is scarce. The third area is operational. Gender analysis can ensure that men and women's different experiences with water are met with equitable quantity, quality and access of water. Gender analysis makes it possible to consider men and women's needs, and to match those with the realistic objectives for the irrigation system.


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Women, Water, Gender, Men, Irrigation, Systems engineering and design, Participation


Gatekeeper series no. 54