Agriculture in India is becoming increasingly reliant upon groundwater and irrigation to extend production amid unpredictable rainfall patterns. only if women are answerable for producing the maximum amount of 80% of food, water rights are tantamount to women’s rights.
With some 100 million women working in agriculture, India’s food security depends on ensuring that these women have equitable, consistent and convenient access to water that doesn’t reinforce or generate new prejudices and downsides. as an example, women and girls spend an estimated four hours on a daily basis fetching water— time that might be spent on higher-value activities, including education and agribusiness.
Initiatives and projects designed to enhance water access and security to extend agricultural productivity oversimplify the requirements of girls — or miss them entirely.
The field needs more gender-sensitive research, which incorporates data disaggregated by gender to permit a greater understanding of gendered needs and techniques throughout the project cycle. Involving women and girls within the planning and designing phase to embed processes of gender inclusion within the monitoring and evaluation framework.
This may help shape innovations — like solar-powered irrigation pumps which don’t depend upon costly diesel — and training for girls farmers to enhance water security and women’s rights.
But to realize this, researchers, including social scientists and gender experts, must challenge and proper gender norms and develop gender competencies horizontally across their peers and organisations in addition as vertically, so as to avoid unintended consequences and trade-offs.
The gender influences and research processes that shape the land and water-related interventions are described as a “black box”, which is often a masculine-dominated space during which partners often prioritise environmental goals for watershed projects, relegating social and gender goals.
Sensitising staff to gender issues and creating a gender balance within research and development teams themselves, it’s possible to get a more gender-sensitive approach from the outset, aligning the rout come of a bottom-up approach with the broader goals and perceptive of the project.
Insights into the influence of gender biases and inequality are as important within the research for water and development as they’re for the foremost disadvantaged women around the world. Water projects must set out on the proper foot if they’re to possess any hope of empowering women.