Gender norms and relations in an agricultural watershed project in the Parasai-Sindh Watershed, Jhansi/India

Leder, S and Padmaja, R and Garg, K (2019) Gender norms and relations in an agricultural watershed project in the Parasai-Sindh Watershed, Jhansi/India. Project Report. CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystem (WLE).

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Research Program : Innovation Systems for the Drylands (ISD)

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Agricultural watershed projects require intertwined technical and social interventions, and accompanying research should aim at blending technical and social sciences (Douthwaite et al. 2001). CGIAR research programs have been designed by centers and partners with such an approach since their first phase from 2010 to 2016; and also in their second phase, 2017 to 2022, this interdisciplinary approach represents their conditions of existence. As many studies have demonstrated, the success of agricultural intervention projects depends on the degree of participatory approach and gendersensitivity in each project stage: planning, design, implementation and monitoring (Leder et al. 2017; Quisumbing et al. 2014). Hence, any intervention project should develop mechanisms trying to avoid the reproduction of gender relations and the exclusion of diverse local knowledge at the community level. Instead, a holistic approach to empower communities with its diverse members should be developed and adjusted continuously. While “participatory” has become a buzzword, it is necessary to demystify respective project stakeholders’ assumptions. As Cleaver (1998: 293) argues, “sectorial bias, instrumental approaches to participation, and an inadequate understanding of social context (...) detract from a truly gendered understanding of water resource management“. Hence it is the role of any intervening organization to understand diverse water needs, and to identify who accesses water and who controls water access. Women are traditionally associated with the domestic use of water, while men are linked to the productive uses of water, whereas several studies have found this division inadequate and far more complex, particularly in the context of primarily male out-migration and the so-called feminization of agriculture. In their study on agrobiodiversity management in Nepals Himalaya, Bhattarai et al. (2015: 129) found that women’s lack of power can be “reinforced by the development organizations’ acceptance of established gender roles that privileges men with new products associated with cash”.

Item Type: Monograph (Project Report)
Divisions: Research Program : Innovation Systems for the Drylands (ISD)
CRP: CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Watershed management, Gender Research
Subjects: Others > Watershed Management
Others > Gender Research
Depositing User: Mr Arun S
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2020 11:05
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2020 02:49
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