GATEKEEPER SERIES No. 54
International Institute for Environment and Development
Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Livelihoods Programme
Linking Women To The Main Canal: Gender And Irrigation Management
This Gatekeeper Series is produced by the International Institute for Environment and Development to highlight key topics in the field of sustainable agriculture. Each paper reviews a selected issue of contemporary importance and draws preliminary conclusions of relevance to development activities. References are provided to important sources and background material. The Swedish International Development Authority (SIDA) funds the series, which is aimed especially at the field staff, researchers and decision makers of such agencies.
Margreet Zwarteveen is working as a Gender Specialist at the International Irrigation Management Institute, P.O. Box 2075, Colombo, Sri Lanka. For the past four years, she has been involved in case studies documenting gender roles and responsibilities in irrigated agriculture and irrigation management in Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Niger and Burkina Faso.
GATEKEEPER SERIES NO. SA54
LINKING WOMEN TO THE MAIN CANAL: GENDER AND IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT
Although gender is a relatively new and often somewhat strange topic for irrigation professionals, irrigation projects have quite a reputation among gender analysis professionals. This is because irrigation projects, and particularly irrigation settlement projects, provide some of the most striking examples of how projects can fail when gender issues are not recognised or accommodated. Despite the ‘infamy’ of irrigation projects among gender professionals, this seems to have had remarkably little influence on irrigation practice. Although a few examples exist of token women’s components that have been added on to irrigation projects (usually in the form of vegetable plots for groups of women), and although...