Home Forums GMI08 Module 1 Forum: Gender and IWRM

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This topic contains 31 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  Vanh 2 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #12456
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    Klas Moldéus
    Keymaster

    The forum during Module 1 will be about the questions and subjects raised by the participants.

    Furthermore the subject of SDGs, related to gender and water are: 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6, but also 9, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15. All 17 SDGs have gender aspects, and for nearly all development water is also crucial.

    Many governments have shown high achievements with the MDGs, sometimes more than really could be found evidence of. How can we all help monitor the progress of the indicators for the goals and the targets, to make sure the reported progress is realistic?

    Who has suggestions?

  • #12483
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    Joke Muylwijk
    Participant

    Dear Participants of the e-course. I am Joke, your facilitator of this week.
    One issue is important for all, and we could discuss this together in the Forum. It is how we can deal with the SDGs. Many SDGs are related to water in one way or another, and all SDGs have gender targets and gender aspects. That is one of the positive differences with the MDGs.
    Most of your countries have endorsed the SDGs and are now working on the indicators for the targets (169 targets of 17 SDGs).
    Do some of you know more about this process, and are you perhaps involved in developing indicators in your country?
    Especially the gender indicators, we could discuss here. Good examples are welcome!

  • #12509
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    StephanieG
    Participant

    I’d like to contrast goal 6.1 (universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all) with energy goal 7.1 (universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services) because I believe that leaving out the issue of “reliability” has major implications for water access. As soon as there is an intermittent system, especially one that is unpredictable in its intermittency, the burden of securing household water supply when it is needed increases enormously. The same is true for industrial and agricultural water use, but the focus on 6.1 is specifically drinking water. I suspect that omission of reliability for drinking water will have impacts that vary by gender.

    I’m not involved with any of the processes surrounding the SDGs.

    • #12510
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      Joke Muylwijk
      Participant

      Thank you Stephanie, for raising this issue. I totally agree with you that drinking water has to be reliable, perhaps even more so than energy. There are many adjectives, but if this one is added to energy it also should be added to 6.1.
      Two years of preparation of the texts of the SDGs, and I am sure such wiords have been included by some, and then again deleted by others, aiming at shorter sentences. You are also right about the gender implications. Since in most parts of this world water in the household is the responsibility of women, reliability is crucial. One counts on water coming out of a tap, but when it does not, then what? Who has to stay home from work, and try and find water for the family?
      So, let’s add reliability!

    • #12535
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      MonicaVazquez
      Participant

      I totally agree with the need to add reliability to the acces to water target. As you pointed, realiability is an essential aspect of water services. Is not only that it affects people, women and children being the most affected, because they have to stay at home to collect water when it is served.

      But also the lack of reliability has a serious implication in public health, since the fact of not having reliable nor continuous service causes that people have to storage water. And this storaged water increases the incidence of Mosquito Borne Diseases as dengue, zika and chikungunya.

  • #12511
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    Deborah C Payne
    Participant

    I would like to contrast the challenges of goal 9, developing Infrastructure and Industrialization, with goal 6.3, minimizing the release of hazardous chemicals into water. In some Latin American countries, a boom and bust of oil development has increased access to roads, but has also created concern around water quality where oil development has occurred. When individuals have spoken up about protecting water from industrialization in developing countries, they place their lives at risk. Women such as Maxima Acuna of Peru, have been physically assaulted for working to protect local water sources. Dialogue must take place within higher ranks of government to ensure that industrial development, safe water, and protection of women are held in the same conversation.

    • #12512
      Profile picture of
      Joke Muylwijk
      Participant

      You are quite right Deborah, and in IWRM, with the I for integration, very first comes drinking water. Here in Bangladesh, I was just reading the Bangladesh Water Act 2013 a few days ago, and there the priorities are listed as follows: Use of water as 1. potable, 2. in household, 3. in agriculture, 4. in aquaculture, 5. for balancing eco-system, 6. for wild life, 7. for natural river flow, 8. in industry, 9. for salinity control, 10. for power generation, 11. for amusement, and 11. for other purposes.
      That sounds quite good, this is a law, but the reality may not be so beautiful, because power relations are far from equal. Those who want to increase roads for oil development surely have a louder voice than small women and men farmers living where the roads are built, and where the water is polluted. That is why we all now know Maxima Acuna of Peru, because she is an exception, and she speaks up giving a whole group of voiceless women and men a voice.
      There will be plenty of contrast within the SDGs, but for water we need to stick to the right-based priorities.
      (N.B. under my picture you read “participant”, but I am the facilitator of this week….I see what I can do about it.)

      • #12519
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        Deborah C Payne
        Participant

        I appreciate the list of priorities as a framework for which to follow. I find it interesting that industry comes so far down the list. I believe that it is critical for eco-systems, wildlife, and natural river flow to be placed higher up the list for purposes of sustainability. These components just so rarely compete well against financial/industrial interests. Thank you for the feedback.

  • #12516
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    Damian Indij
    Keymaster

    In terms of indicators, one ongoing tendency is to build a “Theory of Change”, I like very much this direction. If we are to contribute to effective changes at certain levels (target groups, type of institutions), it will be facilitating to know and agree on what are the expected changes we want to achieve. Imparting knowledge is not just about a one-direction distribution of wide contents, the more tailored we can be, the best demand approach we can have, and the very precise indicators we can use will make our work in way easier and also more focus. Of course building a theory of change has to be done before knowledge is delivered. So it is something which we should gradually learn how to do and incorporate in our activities.

  • #12520
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    Joke Muylwijk
    Participant

    I am happy to inform you that till now I have received excercises from all continents but Europe. The IWRM political situation in the countries of those of you who have sent in the excercise is quite diverse, but overall there have not yet been reports of efficient coordination between ministries, and also not of gender equal implementation of IWRM. The percentages of women in high positions are rather low in all countries.
    I am looking forward to receiving more of your excercises, and perhaps there are some countries with a totally different picture: gender-equal policies and effective coordination, it could be possible, or not?

  • #12521
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    Vanh
    Participant

    I have no suggestions on your question Klas sorry. In my current work we are also thinking about how to link what we do with SDGs and their indicators, I am looking forward to hearing what other colleagues/course facilitators and coordinators/classmates here have experienced, this would be very valuable for my current challenge.

    I have some questions following the key reading this week, welcome all thoughts and comments 🙂

    1. page.11 “conduct a gender and poverty audit of post economic-crisis austerity measure” – what does this mean?
    2. I feel that when we talk about gender, transgender seems to be missing from the discussion, what do you think?
    3. Can anyone give me more examples, video, resources…etc to better understand gender and water governance? Definition was given on page 18 but I am still struggling to understand the concept and how it actually works in practice.
    4. Is there an opportunity to have a mentor from Cap-net or Cap-net network as part of this course?

    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts/comments/suggestions 🙂

    Thank you.
    Vanh

    • #12551
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      Joke Muylwijk
      Participant

      Dear Vanh, I have been away for a few days, but now back on the forum. Anamika has started to answer your questions, and I will try to deal with what was still pending.
      Your Q 2: Why is it that we hardly ever talk about transgender? In my country (the Netherlands) gender actually means especially transgender, and hardy ever the differences between women and men or the relations between them.
      But in most developing countries, it is already difficult to make people (water professionals) understand that women and men have equal rights, and that these are human rights. I try to have an entrance into the subject, in a way that is acceptable to all. Starting about transgender or different sexualities would immediately close all doors. So from my side it is more of a strategy than that I myself have a problem with talking about it. I have a problem not to talk about it. So I like your question!
      Here in Bangladesh more than 80% of men think it is a man’s right (or even duty), to beat his wife. In such a setting one does better not start about transgender. Nevertheless, in training workshops, if somebody raises the point, I will gladly discuss it of course. And I always make it one aspect of Physical empowerment, that women and men should have the right to decide about one’s sexuality.
      Your Q 3: Gender and Water Governance is a very broad concept, and would mean different things. Without looking at page 18, I would say that at the core this is about decision-making related to water management. All over the world at all levelsd decisions are made by 90% men. Considering that the water work at the ground is 60-80% women’s work, the decisions can hardly be expected to be very good. The decision-making process has to be engendered, meaning that both women and men have to be involved, at all levels, including in the household. Of course this is not exactly the answer you like to hear. In more detail it is some form of gender balance in decision-making positions, perhaps a quota in some water management groups. Governance has to do with equal participation. But also with integrity. Corruption harms the least powerful. For example the WorldBank has a figure of about 40% of invested money in water is going into the wrong pockets. Compare this with the number of children and also grownups that die each year from dirty water and lack of hygiëne and sanitary toilets, than you can calculate how many deaths are the responsibility of those people who take the money for themselves, which was meant for WATSAN. That also is part of Gender and Governance.
      Your Q4: That is what the facilitators are supposed to be!!
      Sorry for the long answers. Joke.

      • #12650
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        Vanh
        Participant

        Dear Joke,

        Thank you very much for your reply to my long questions.

        Best, Vanh

  • #12522
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    dannyogwo
    Participant

    I, am Iroegbu, Daniel I have participated in designing workplace policy on gender mainstreaming of HIV/AIDS were some indicators were drafted.
    As a member of Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), participated in strategic plan development on water and sanitation, gender and disabled inclusion.

    Gender indicators includes
    1. Number of women and girls involved in designing National Policy on water resources management
    2. Number of women and girls involved in designing community water resource management

    Will response again soon

    • #12552
      Profile picture of
      Joke Muylwijk
      Participant

      Dear Daniel,
      Your suggestions for indicators are fine on the one hand, on the other hand these two need to be operationalised and made practical, before anyone can use them and monitor them.
      I cannot visualise how I have to count in a country all those that are involved in designing the National IWRM policy. Either it could be many, if you count all the village women and girls who manage to get their voice heard in a gradual stepped system at the policy making levels, or there are very few, only a few women engineers, and perhaps a few women in NGOs who make an effort.
      For indicators to be monitorable, they need to be clear and visible, and not to be played with. Most national statistics are manipulated, so not quite so useful for monitoring. Perhaps the trends can be used.
      For practical indicators, that can be measured, there is some more literature in the GWA website, but really speaking, it is better to sit with a group and discuss them and develop them .
      Then there is qualitative monitoring: GWA applies the system of Inquiries, very open interviews in which people (women and men of different categories) tell about their problems and also about their experience. Then after a year we visit these same people, and get a good impression about the progress. It is not in numbers, but considering the fact that these numbers are always doubtful, the qualitative infomration is ever so valuable.
      Success with developing easy and reliable gender-and-water indicators.

  • #12523
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    Anamika Amani
    Participant

    Dear Vanh,
    Let me try and answer your question 1 as I was involved as a contributing author of the tutorial “Why Gender Matters in IWRM” that you are referring to. In plain(er) language the sentence means that governments and institutions need to monitor how austerity measures such as reduced spending in social services ( which women, elderly, children, disabled, and low-income groups make most use of) are affecting gender relations and poverty situation in the country. These measures are commonly brought into countries (developed and developing) when governments have less money to spend (for e.g. as a result of economic recession, shrinking foreign aid). Choices have to be made, and unfortunately they usually tend to favour the interests of the most powerful.
    From your questions it seems that you are trying to place the information you are reading into a context that you can relate to practically. I applaud this, as this is crucial for you and other participants in this course to use the knowledge gained from this in your own work, and even add to it.

    For this same reason I am not too sure about planning tools such as Theory of Change which are often being pushed by donors on project staff, without making sure that they understand it and can use it to benefit their work. From my experience I have seen it being used more as an abstract exercise on paper which is confusing to many, and hardly referred to during the course of the project cycle.

    Any one of you have similar or different experiences on this?

    • #12532
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      Roma
      Participant

      I would like to link goal 4: Ensure inclusive & equitable education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
      I fancy the idea of embracing lifelong learning in contribution to other SDGs
      The principles of lifelong learning would invariably extend the usual focus of education to mean formal education and attached to a learning institution to extend to mean informal learning such as indigenous knowledge, transformative component of continuous professional learning and incorporation of feedback from project implementation…shinning a deserved spotlight on the aims of many development organisations that argue for more cultural transformations and paradigm shifts around issues of climate impact and gender equality including the place for gender equity measures in a wide range of sectors…
      I reckon that due to existing inequality, within nations and internationally, straight forward high-level policy indicators and priority /preference are difficult to operationalise on the ground. That is why NGOs and donor agencies often have opportunities to harmonise such priorities and push the agenda to real and practical levels: accounting for socio-economic differentials and the plight of marginalised groups.. Here the tools such as Theory of Change would offer development projects real and close to the ground opportunities to effect transformative and clear ways of desired change on issues that are difficult to itemise at policy level. For example, a theory of change on gender inequality would include ’use of household approach to farmer schools and water use for agriculture’ with the aim of influencing household power relations concerning asset, land and investment decision at family level.
      N.B I am not directly involved in developing national indicators for SDGs, however, I participate in setting indicators for sector level reporting for example water sector report.

      • #12538
        Profile picture of
        Vanh
        Participant

        Dear Anamika,

        Thank you greatly for your inputs and clarification to Question 1 ,highly appreciated. Regarding theory of change, I found it challenging to use. I often like to use problem tree to help me understand the situation and the root of the problems.

        Regards,

        Vanh

        P.S I cannt reply directly to you, so I have to used this window instead.

      • #12539
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        Vanh
        Participant

        Oh it works, sorry 🙂 but not the edit button.

  • #12524
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    SEVERE FOSSI TUEKAM
    Participant

    In Cameroon, the access rate to fresh water is still low and far from the millennium’s goal target (43,9%); the rate of water sanitation and hygiene is worse (36%). The gap between rural and urban areas is huge as well as among the ten regions. The country actively works with a project to implement IWRM at national level. Action has been taken in a four stage process including the preparation of a national IWRM Action Plan. As a result of these measures, the foundation for IWRM Strategy and Action Plan has been laid and the strategic options identified. Regarding Gender issues, in April 2012, a law was adopted on the Electoral Code of Cameroon. It was amended and supplemented by another law passed in December 2012, as a result of which gender issues became a legal prerequisite in the compilation of all candidate lists for the municipal, legislative, regional and Senate elections.

    • #12553
      Profile picture of
      Joke Muylwijk
      Participant

      Good to hear from the situation in Cameroun. It is a first step, and a very important one to have a good law. The Electoral Code you mention, what does it prescribe for gender? A quota for women? And if so, how big is the quota?
      But in the IWRM Strategy, how is gender included in it? There cannot be IWRM without gender and diversity. As you say the differences within Cameroun are enormous. A National IWRM Strategy has to give solutions in the direction of equality, following a path of equity. I would like to hear from you how it is currently.

      • #12556
        Profile picture of
        Joke Muylwijk
        Participant

        Dear Severe,
        I have now found the answers to some of my questions in your excercise. The situation is not as equal as I had expected, with 10 women having a say in the government of 60 departments. Has a national IWRM plan or strategy not been developed, after so many years of GWP and WP in Cameroun? I suppose not, because you don’t mention it.

  • #12533
    Profile picture of
    Mary
    Participant

    Dear All,
    I would like to share with you my experience on SDG 6. As some of you may be aware, Uganda is among the countries that was selected to pilot SDG 6, and I am happy to inform you that I have been part of this process specifically with regard to target 6.5 (“By 2030, implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate”). The indicators for this target are two: Degree of integrated water resources management implementation (0- 100) and Proportion of transboundary basin area with an operational arrangement for water cooperation. To pilot these indicators, a step by step methodology was developed in form of questionnaire with a guiding note on how to fill it and also how to calculate the percentage.
    The key components of IWRM assessed in this questionnaire are; enabling environment, institutions, management instruments and financing. This questionnaire was sent to 30 people from government, academic institutions, NGOs, Development partners).

    Experiences.
    In our thematic working group, we did find out that the tool is good but it is important to clearly identify what stakeholders should be targeted for filling it since the questions require a certain level of understanding of the water sector. for example, such a tool would not be appropriate for water users at all levels e. g grassroots where actual implementation of IWRM takes place. A simplified version may be handy.

    – There is need to build capacity for the monitoring team of the SDG indicators in all aspects (data collection, synthesis, analysis, reporting..etc)
    – Coordination of the different stakeholders is very important for monitoring SDGs but the monitoring process should be aligned to existing coordination structures. For the Ugandan case, we recognize that the Joint water sector review that takes place every year is a good platform to report annual progress on SDG 6 implementation since it brings stakeholders in and beyond the water sector together to review the performance of the sector.
    – Much as the result obtained after filling in the questionnaire is good for countries to reflect on areas that need improvement as far as IWRM is concerned, how this result can be put into practice is still not clear. The relationship between the indicators both in monitoring aspects and interpretation of results could be interesting to consider as countries plan to roll out the SDGs.
    There will be a report coming out soon on Uganda’s experience in piloting SDG 6, which I can share with those interested but I thought I should give you some insight into this matter.
    Good day to you all

    • #12554
      Profile picture of
      Joke Muylwijk
      Participant

      Dear Mary,
      This was very interesting to read, and it goes to show that monitoring these SDGs, even after deciding about indicators, is not a small thing. And, I have not read anything about gender in what you write, whilst gender is a crucial aspect of all the targets in SDG6, also in transboudary water management, in which often the national political interests are on top, whilst in all decisions it does not seem to matter what the water users women (and men) on the ground suffer on both sides of the border.
      Sending out questionnaires is a very good idea, and whilst doing so, no doubt one will learn, and adapt the questions to make it more useful.
      I don’t want to say anything negative about the SDGs, I am very happy that this is now internationally agreed, it is a miracle. But, what I am a bit worried about, is that we spend all our time on monitoring, instead of on the actual development work.
      Or are my worries unfounded?

  • #12536
    Profile picture of
    MonicaVazquez
    Participant

    I also wonder what the “right” order of priorities should be. In a way, if eco-systems are not sustaible or if river flow is badly affected, all the other uses would be consequently affected. So this two uses of water should be first in the list. However, I can understand that, in a case of need, we should temporarily give priority to potable and household water. There is not point on having good eco systems if people is dying because they do not have water to drink or due to diseases caused by bad public health conditions. And I assume the priority given to agriculture and aquaculture is also related to the need of having food.

    At the end, it seems the priorities are related to the period these activities or uses can survive without water. The shorter the period, the higher the priority. But that these priorities should be used in extreme situations, usually all uses should be satisfied.

    • #12602
      Profile picture of
      Mary
      Participant

      Dear Joke,
      You are absolutely right about the huge amount of time and resources spent on monitoring instead of doing actual development work.
      Gender is a cross cutting issue and indeed it is captured in the framework for monitoring SDG 6 though in my opinion it is not well captured.
      In so many cases, when people hear gender mainstreaming, these are things that come into mind; Women, a gender policy, etc. My concern is about how can we move from paper to action. Gender policies are in place but not implemented, women are represented on several committees but they do not have the skills needed to do the work they are supposed to do, attitude change is very important if gender roles and responsibilities are to be understood in IWRM… the list goes on.

  • #12546
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    Roma
    Participant

    I have just had a thought for the indicators; do you think it might assist with monitoring and implementation if we dealt with the gender equality indicators in this manner?
    Say, for the Host SDG5, Have the indicators that concern key agreed strategic areas i.e leadership/parliament representation, education completion rates, nutrition, genital mutilation, gender based violence et cetera…
    But also specifically develop indicators linked to each of the 16 other SGGS (Goal by goal) to ensure that all goals has explicit links to gender goal (not one goal is missed out..or is this how it is already being approached?

    • #12555
      Profile picture of
      Joke Muylwijk
      Participant

      Dear Roma,
      It is nice that you think like that, because in the MDGs there were very few gender indicators, apart from MDG3 being totally for women . Now with the SDGs, it is as you say, each one of them has gender targets too. So there is 5 for gender equality, but also in 6 and in fact all of them, gender and equality are given attention. That means also that we have a lot ofresponsibility monitoring all of them!!
      Joke

  • #12560
    Profile picture of
    Joke Muylwijk
    Participant

    I still owe Roma one response to her entry of 5 October. I have a question about your understanding of a “household approach” and how you think that could lead to gender equality. One point of a gender perspective is not to use household as a black box, because nost of the unequal power relations take place within the household. If training is directed at the household, the man will go (especially if there is a fee to be present), and the wife cannot be missed in the house, for need of water(and so many other things she has to care for). So instead of a household perspective, it is better to train those people who actually do that particular work. Many Agricultural tasks are dome by women, but called “I am only helping my husband”, and these women need to be trained, not their husbands.
    I expect that these issues wil come back later in the course.
    Joke

    • #12563
      Profile picture of
      Roma
      Participant

      Dear Joke, you are right about those concerns around household power relations that may be involved in a ‘household’ approach. However, the use of the term as it relates to farmer schools and agriculture has evolved to mean involvement of mother, father, and oldest child (either boy or girl) and is aimed at dealing with household level power relations. The approach posits that changing household power dynamics should involve a family, and that farming itself can be viewed as a household business. The idea is to avoid the mistakes that came with WID and women empowerment that tended to treat women as a homogenous group (same needs regardless of family set-up) and that tended to empower women with their much-needed rights and sort of left the information gap when it came to the men. The result among others was that the men and women misunderstood the gender concept and viewed it as a binary relation of ‘women vs men’ without appreciating the role of men to support reforms(men as partners) if they understood what was at the centre of women empowerment. Additionally, most challenges affecting home power dynamics are passed-on through family and cultural practices and hence the ‘natural’ inclusion of children so as to benefit from inter-generational gains in altering power dynamics mainly over asserts, participation, decision and access to finance and decisions on choice of investment. In this view, planning and setting farming priorities and managing farm assets are done together as a family – farmers are supported to present plans that have been generated as a family with representation of adult members and a child. To ensure close support for such implementation, the approach is best implemented and supervised by agricultural service extension workers and monitored quite strongly through ‘social accountability’ principles than traditional technical tools. The approach may cost more in the short-term e.g training more than one family representative but long-term gains tend to justify the approach. As experienced in the CAADP programme in central province of Zambia (http://www.actionaid.org/sites/files/actionaid/making_caadp_work_for_women_farmers_april_2011_final.pdf) benefits also include Improvement in intra-household power relationship: Families not only appear to have better balanced power relationships within themselves, they appear to have forged closer relationships with their children and can speak to them more freely. The argument is that if women are empowered to carry out economic activities without deliberately altering household/domestic gender roles, the women and girls are further burdened with additional tasks in addition to their unchanging roles which men can take-up if they understood their role and the benefits of their women counterparts participating in economic use of water.

      • #12567
        Profile picture of
        Joke Muylwijk
        Participant

        Thank you very much Roma! This is important learning for all of us!

  • #12617
    Profile picture of
    Leonardo Nascimento
    Participant

    The focus on inclusion is aligned permanent defense of full and effective participation of society in the discussion and implementation of development policies with a view to including equitable perception of their benefits.

    In particular, I understand that overcoming inequality is a central guideline to improve the international framework focused on the development, so that the ODS and Agenda 2030 both address the inequality within countries as the deep inequalities still found between countries.

    The ODS should be able to answer one of the strongest criticisms received by the MDGs: that were very effective in helping to bring advances in numbers
    households within countries, but did not foresee instruments to ensure that these advances reached vulnerable or marginalized social groups.

    Thus, the MDGs have not necessarily contributed to the decrease of historical inequalities and achieving social equity. It would be up to ODS a clear and cross focus on tackling the inequalities that affect different social groups and the holding of equity.

    The Brazil in particular has championed the merger not only of the concept of equal opportunities, as well as the concept of equal results. This seeks to bring out the structural problems that hinder certain groups achieve successful results, even in situations where the opportunities are formally open to all people.

    Thus, advocates be fundamental advance in public policies to correct inequalities results, for example, wage differences based on gender conditions, race or disability.

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