Title: Gender and representation in local water governance in rural Uganda

Authors: Richard Bagonza Asaba

Addresses: School of Women and Gender Studies, Makerere University, P.O. Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda

Abstract: The participation of disadvantaged groups in the governance of water resources is critical for more democratic, inclusive and transformative development. One of the ways through which water governance can be more inclusive is through the effective representation of men and women in local water gatherings and institutions. Using an empirical case and evidence from earlier studies done in rural Uganda, this paper examines the gender dynamics in representation in water meetings and water user committees. The study reveals that the reputation of water source providers, expected financial gains, gender stereotypes and patriarchal beliefs shape men and women's representation in local water governance. The study further shows that water user committees with a higher number of female members are more active, record higher functionality of water sources and ensure better access to water for rural communities. Transformative rural water governance that also improves access to water therefore requires addressing patriarchal beliefs and stereotypes and increasing the representation of women in local water spaces.

Keywords: gender dynamics; women; female representation; water governance; water user committees; gender stereotypes; patriarchal beliefs; Makondo Parish; rural areas; rural communities; Uganda; disadvantaged groups; provider reputation; expected financial gains; water meetings.

DOI: 10.1504/IJARGE.2015.074091

International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology, 2015 Vol.11 No.3/4, pp.247 - 261

Available online: 07 Jan 2016 *

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