Gender and Water in Northeast Thailand: Inequalities and Women's Realities

Andajani, S
Chirawatkul, S
Saito, E
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Journal Article
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Bridgewater State University, MA, USA

The water world is socially constructed, reflecting continuous global gender inequalities and discrimination by those who hold dominant perspectives on water. While there is a strong global acknowledgement of the roles of women in water management by the United Nations International Water for Life Decade 2005-2015, discourses on gender mainstreaming in water management are still marginalised and under-theorised. The Millennium Development Goal-7 on environmental sustainability, addressing the need of more than one billion people for a significant improvement to accessing safe drinking water and basic sanitation, stagnated without a strong political will to include gender ideology in mainstream water perspectives. This qualitative study was conducted in a sub-urban community of Northeast Thailand in 2011, exploring the gendered roles, responsibilities, and inequalities of access to and control over village water resources. Results of this study illuminate the importance of taking into account the complexity of power and negotiation in local water structures within women’s social realities.

Gender; Water; Inequalities; Water tensions; Northeast Thailand
Journal of International Women's Studies, 16(2), 200-212.
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The Journal of International Women's Studies is an on-line, open-access, peer reviewed journal that provides a forum for scholars, activists, and students to explore the relationship between feminist theory and various forms of organizing.