Gender, water and livelihoods in Mseleni: a case study | Land Portal

Informations sur la ressource

Date of publication: 
janvier 2010
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 

Access to sufficient water to meet basic needs has been identified as a critical development issue and a human right. This study set out to investigate the dynamic relationship between gender, water and livelihoods in a traditional, rural community in South Africa.The paper finds that:

access to a reliable, sufficient water supply increases the range of possible livelihood activities and has a ‘multiplier’ effect on livelihood outcomes
poor water access results in health, opportunity and financial costs and furthermore, constrains livelihood activities; in particular agriculture
the factors affecting access to and control over resources result in uneven accruement of the positive and negative water and livelihoods linkages
these factors comprise inter and intra-household hierarchies: gender, age, social status and class
in this respect, women and children are largely responsible for water collection and women for managing household water
still, technology, transport and money are potential levers which can alter the social relations of access

Recommendations to enhance livelihoods and advance gender equity are:

factoring livelihoods water uses into definitions of basic needs and humans rights, norms, standards, policies and programmes
working towards a more nuanced understanding of power relations at household and community level which influence water access and livelihood outcomes
the equitable roll-out of simple technologies, infrastructure and transport to deep rural areas in order to make water for livelihoods more accessible.

Auteurs et éditeurs

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

E.L.K. Hazell

Fournisseur de données

eldis (ELDIS)

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