This article attempts to set out the major issues of the new integrated water resource management (WRM) policy for further debate rather than giving a comprehensive perspective.
|Integrated water resources management : a gender perspective
|Year of Publication
|Green, C, Baden, S
|community participation, cost recovery, economic aspects, gender, integrated approach, policies, water conservation, water resources management, women
This article attempts to set out the major issues of the new integrated water resource management (WRM) policy for further debate rather than giving a comprehensive perspective. It begins by suggesting ways in which the conceptual framework of the new WRM consensus is problematic. It then reviews the key elements of the new WRM policy which are the treatment of water as an economic good, decentralized management and delivery structures, greater reliance on pricing, and fuller participation by stakeholders. Lastly, it looks critically at the broad approach to women adopted in the WRM policy and then assesses the two key areas of pricing and environmental protection and conservation from a gender perspective. The article notes that while the assessment of the economic costs and benefits of WRM leads to a more explicit recognition of the economic value of women's work in water collection and management, and decentralization leads to greater women involvement in planning and design, the main fault of the WRM policy is to compartmentalize women's roles within prevailing gender divisions of labour. The article also criticizes the fact that the category "women" is added on rather than being integrated into the WRM policy document and that there is no analysis of how the promotion of conservation measures may impact on women. The article concludes that the rapid development of the WRM policy has given gender analysts little time to respond to this new approach. Questions of participation and institutional arrangements are not discussed in the article.