Elements of care in water management – Gender dimensions for sustainable water use:
Water has always determined the social structures of rural communities. In many regions of the world, the meaning of water in daily-life is an enduring reflection of the deep spiritual and cultural embeddedness of water in a society. In developing countries, water is nowadays closely linked to the problems arising from changes in rural economies, rural population flight into cities and unequal distribution of land and water rights.
These conditions of crises deeply affect women in their daily life and familial arrangements. A gender sensitive analysis of the discussion on sustainable water management shows the caring role of women designates them as the main procurer of the family’s water supply. Because it is mostly done by female family members, the procuring of water represents an extremely gendered form of community work.
It is mainly performed under conditions of poverty and where basic resources are severely limited. With this in view, national water politics and technology programs have to acknowledge and bolster the rights of women and their central role especially in agriculture and household water management. They also have to consider the gender-specific differences in household and work organisation in the respective countries and societies.
Therefore, the availability of land and the control of water for women is a necessary requirement; women must also be provided with more knowledge and information about programs and support, so that they are able to overcome hindrances and problems.