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TitleThe impact of new technologies on women : paper presented at the AIT-GASAT Asia conference, August 4-7, 1998, Bangkok, Thailand
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsFrancis, J
Pagination14 p.
Date Published2008-08-04
Place PublishedDelft, The Netherlands
Keywordsgender, rural communities, sdigen, water collection systems, water supply, women

Faced with their responsibility of household chores, farm work and earning cash to supplement incomes -- tasks which often add up to a 16 hour day -- rural women in many of the developing countries see the lack of time as a major constraint on their ability to improve family welfare. When one considers the multitude of tasks that rural women perform and the limited tools they use in performing these tasks, it is obvious that the introduction of new technologies holds out the promise of considerable benefits - not just to the women but to their families as a whole. With respect to water supplies and sanitation there is a range of technologies that can help with the problems of collection, storage, purity of water, health and hygiene. These technologies should in theory, be very beneficial in respect to releasing women's time from unproductive tasks - time that can be diverted into income-generating activities, better child care and a general increase in the well-being of the whole family. But does the use of such technologies by women actually result in improved health, food production and greater cash incomes? In practice, a number of factors can prevent the potential benefits from being realized. Taking into account different categories of people with different interests in and control over the use of technologies for different purposes, as well as its effects, this paper calls for a gender-balanced approach to sustainable use of water supply and sanitation technologies.

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