Empowering community women through Gender, Water, Climate Change program –


Centre for Social Research aims to strengthen climate action by promoting gender equality. Recognizing the important contributions of women as decision-makers, educators, stakeholders, and experts across sectors and at all levels, can lead to successful, long-term solutions to climate change. We have worked with Self Help Groups (SHG’s), Elected Women Representatives (EWR’s), community members and leaders, technical experts, local practitioners, and government officials in Bihar, Nepal, and most notably across multiple districts in Rajasthan.

The conversation around water conservation has diluted since the Pandemic started spreading across the world at the beginning of last year. Changes in water patterns result in the unavailability of clean drinking water, frequent phenomenal droughts and flash flooding due to climate change which disproportionately affects the women in every household, as the onus of taking care of a family’s water needs falls primarily on the women. The dependency of women on the natural resources are more and they have also developed skills and knowledge related to water harvesting, storage and management, because of the day-to-day responsibility to secure water, food and fuel for cooking falls on women in most of the households. It is important to note that women are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change than men due to the biological, socioeconomic, and cultural factors and unequal access to resources and decision-making processes.

The negative impact of climate change shows short-term and long-term effects on the health of the individuals and the environment which includes increased heat, poor air quality, extreme weather events, increased disease transmission on large scale, reduced water quality, and decreased food security and overall a gradual degradation of the environment.

“The poor, primarily in developing countries, are expected to be disproportionately affected and consequently in the greatest need of adaptation strategies in the face of climate variability and change. Both women and men working in natural resource sectors, such as agriculture, are likely to be affected.” Says the United Nations Organization based on the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Centre for Social Research works with community women to strengthen climate action and promote gender equality. We recognize the importance of women as decision-makers and educators to take the action at the forefront and lead the long-term solutions to climate change on the ground. With the tremendous support from partners, CSR started the Gender Water Climate Change project in Rajasthan in the year 2012, intending to incorporate gender-responsive strategies for water conservation and develop a framework in consultation with the stakeholders which helps to reach out to the policymakers with the traditional knowledge of the local areas.

The Gender, Water and Climate Change initiatives if CSR India saw support from many partners including HSS, GVT, Asia Foundation, RITES, and Honda India Foundation which proved to be a crucial part of our journey and their support in the continuous efforts of GWCC to achieve water conservation and management to reduce the drastic effects of climate change in Rural Rajasthan in India.

Capacity Building Training of the local community women and more than 300 elected women representatives achieved in different parts of Rajasthan, including Sanganer, Jaipur (Eastern Rajasthan), Sirhori, Abu Road (Southeast Rajasthan), and Bhinmal, Jalore. The training focused on women’s engagement in water management and sanitation issues. Over these years several stakeholder meetings, state-level workshops on water management systems, water budgeting and watershed management proved to be helpful to redefine our training module on water conservation with the community women.

The Self-help Groups (SHGs) of women in Dhadikar and Hazipur in Umaren villages in Alwar, Rajasthan have become the water leaders, who are restoring, managing, and constructing the water structures of their local areas with the support from the Centre for Social Research’s dedicated GWCC project. Through our intervention, the locals restored the groundwater levels of their area.

We aim to continue our work on Gender, Water, Climate Change with the Self-Help Groups (SHG’s), Elected Women Representatives (EWR’s), community members & leaders, technical experts, local practitioners, and government officials in Bihar, Nepal, across multiple districts in Rajasthan and possibly replicate the successful outcomes in other states as well in the future.

References:

https://www.un.org/en/chronicle/article/womenin-shadow-climate-change

https://www.un.org/womenwatch/feature/climate_change/downloads/Women_and_Climate_Change_Factsheet.pdf

https://www.csrindia.org/gender-water-climate-change/

 

 



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