Deepa Joshi

A study finds that hydropower organisations in India continue to maintain a culture of hierarchy, follow masculine norms and are insensitive to the needs of women and the marginalised.

Large dams, back in the game?

Recent years are seeing the re-emergence of large dams as sources of hydropower generation in global development policy. Large dams are being propagated as clean, green, climate-mitigating and a major source of renewable energy in emerging markets in the Global South.

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Perspectives that aren't the norm must be examined while talking about gender-related development in the mountain regions.

This introduction to the special issue on "Gender and sustainable development in the mountains- Transformative innovations, tenacious resistances" by Ritu Verma et al published in the journal Mountain Research and Development, highlights the poor situation of women as well as gender discrimination, exploitation and disenfranchisement of women in the mountain regions despite gender mainstreaming efforts over the years.

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These five papers on Women and Water published in the Economic and Political Weekly, examine the relationship of women to water.

It does this in the context of the new decentralised  governance structures that are based on the assumption that domestic water supply is the legitimate domain of women and thus power and authority needs to be granted to women to manage water resources.

However, there is a very little understanding of how this has benefited women and what are the challenges experienced during the process of implementation or the outcomes gained from these processes, in the context of the Indian society that continues to propogate patriarchal values and is based on structures that are inherently hierarchical and inequitable.

Some of the papers dwell on and explore the inherent biases in the literature and make an attempt to understand their implications for women in managing water resources, while some of the papers share case studies on the outcomes of the implementation of the decentralised water management policies at the village level.

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