Reflections on the formulation and implementation of IWRM in southern Africa from a gender perspective

Bill Derman
Norwegian University of the Life Sciences, Department of International Environment and Development Studies, Aas, Norway; bill.derman@nmbu.no

Preetha Prabhakaran
Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK; preethapb@gmail.com

ABSTRACT: While it is claimed that the founding principles of integrated water resources management are the Dublin Principles this does not appear to be the case for Principle No. 3, which underlines the importance of women in water provision, management and safeguarding. Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe are members of SADC and have signed the SADC Protocol on Women and other international human rights instruments. However, we do not see an incorporation of these instruments and other empowerment frameworks into water policies. We find that Principle No. 3 has been sidelined in the implementation of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM). In examining the gender practices in these four nations of Africa, gender equality remains distant from the concerns of the water sector. We enumerate many of the commonalities among these countries in how they are marginalising women’s access to, and use of, water.

KEYWORDS: Gender, IWRM, Dublin Principles, southern Africa