Investigation of Gender-Differentiated Impacts of Water Poverty on Different Livelihood Groups in Peri-Urban Areas around Dhaka, Bangladesh

Author:- Lamiya Sharmeen Jaren, Rabeya Sultana Leya and M. Shahjahan Mondal
Category:- Journal; Year:- 2022
Discipline:- Urban and Rural Planning Discipline
School:- Science, Engineering & Technology School


The concept of water poverty integrates water stress, access to safe water and sanitation, socioeconomic capacity, water uses and environmental aspects. This study presents a new concept to demonstrate gender-differentiated impacts of water poverty for different livelihood groups in a peri-urban setting. The objective is to identify how gender and livelihood groups are affected by dynamic water poverty. A few peri-urban areas around Dhaka city were selected as the study area, and male and female industrial workers, small-scale male and female farmers, and economically inactive women were the target groups. Data were collected through a questionnaire survey of 220 respondents and using a number of participatory appraisal tools, such as focus group discussions, and semi-structured and key-informant interviews. Water poverty was assessed by its five components: resource, access, capacity, use and environment. Peri-urban water poverty is found not only to be limited to scarcity, or physical availability, of water resources, but also to encompass political, social, economic and institutional dimensions. The study found that inadequate availability and quality of water, restricted access and use, poor socioeconomic capacity and fragile environment affected every livelihood group, but these factors eventually led to extreme impoverishment for adolescent girls, and physically challenged and elderly women. Suggestions are provided as to how gender issues of water can be balanced at different levels to make water management decisions gender-sensitive.

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