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Water-Gender-Ethnicity Factors Affecting Ethnic Minority Participation and Decision Making in Water Management

In rural developing areas, women are considered as the main consumers of water—whether it be for cooking, drinking, washing, bathing, sanitation, or family hygiene at the local level (Aureli and Brelet 2004; Harris et al. 2017; Ivens 2008). Furthermore, a case study in Bangladesh indicated that women regularly use water for domestic purposes, farming, and other daily sustenance activities. As a result, women are likely to face higher exposure to water-related pollution issues and waterborne diseases (UN Water 2006). Due to women’s traditional responsibilities to accessing and managing water resources at household levels, women are more likely to have a better understanding of water resources management and its accessibility. Unfortunately, although women are considered as the main actors in water management, they are often excluded from planning, formulating, and implementing management policies. Many research have been done by professionals and experts on the issues of gender and water governance, but the role of women is still inconsistent and is frequently absent in water-related programs (Fisher 2008). For this perspective, the study on which this policy brief is based investigated the arena of water management that focused on the participation, roles, and responsibilities of men and women regarding water management in four hamlets of the O Lam commune, Tri Ton district, An Giang province in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta.


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