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Women Participation in Integrated Water Resources Management: A Case Study of Mutale Water User Association, Limpopo.

Confirmation Presentation for MPhil Integrated Water Management Faisal Elias (25095064)
March, 2014

Outline of Presentation

Background to the study

Research Problem Research Aim and Questions Literature Review The Procedure

Research Timeline

Background to the study

Traditionally, women are regarded as the domestic water managers and users with a substantial role in food production, although it varies regionally and from country to country (Aureli & Brelet, 2004). In Africa, women produce about 70 % of the food, while in Asia, the figure stands at 60 %. This makes women the primary users and managers of water, especially in the agricultural sector (Aureli & Brelet, 2004; Singh, 2006a). Acknowledgement of the role of women can be traced to the UN water conference, in Mar del Plata, Argentina, in 1977 where the UN declare the decade 1981-1990 as the International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade (IDWSSD) (Singh, 2006a).

Background to the study

The concepts and principles of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) adopted at the International Conference on Water and Environment advocate for a holistic management of water as an essential finite resource of socio-economic value. It stressed that water resources should be managed in a participatory way and at the lowest appropriate level, with women playing a pivotal role in water management, since they are regarded as the main providers and users of water (Gender & Water Alliance, 2006).

Background to the study

The Ministerial Declaration, in 2001, adopted at the international Conference on Freshwater in Bonn states that: water resources management should be based on a participatory approach. Both women and men should have an equal voice in managing the substantial use of water resources and sharing the benefits. The role of women in water-related areas needs to be strengthened and their participation broadened (Singh, 2006b). In South Africa, water user associations (WUA) are statutory bodies established under the National Water Act (Act 36 of 1998). This Act is under-pinned by the principles of equity in terms of race, class and gender. However, WUA are practically controlled and dominated by men (Ackerman et al., 2009).

Research Problem
Womens participation has received considerable

rhetoric, nevertheless, there has been less attention

paid to the difference between womens and mens priority and needs with regards to resources use and

the barriers women face in achieving control over

resources, especially & within local organisations Mjoli & (Meinzen-Dick Zwarteveen, 1998;

Nenzhelele, 2009).

Research Problem
Literature related to womens participation and their experiences in water resources management fails to explain adequately the nature and experiences of womens participation as they attempt to achieve productivity, sustainability and equity (Meinzen-Dick & Zwarteveen, 1998; Cleaver, 1998; Caizhen, 2008). As Meinzen-Dick & Zwarteveen (1998) asserts, due to the lack of research on gender dimension on community organization for irrigation and other water management activities, it has virtually become impossible to draw firm conclusion about the nature and forms of women participation as well as their impacts on water management activities.

Research Aim
The aim of the research is to explore the nature and extent of women participation in Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) with a focus on Water User Associations (WUAs) and to develop a theoretical construct that adequately explains the experience of women in water management activities. The research, therefore, poses some questions to help address the aim of the study. These questions include: 1. 2. 3. 4. What are the roles played by women in Water User Associations? What are the perceptions of men as well as women towards womens participation in Water User Associations? What are the reasons why women do not actively participate in Water User Associations? What are the factors of or barriers faced by women towards participation in Water User Associations?

Literature Review
Feminist Theory
Feminist theory is a theoretical perspective that seeks to change womens inferior social position and the social, political and economic discrimination that perpetuates it(Abbott et al., 2005 ). Feminist theory serve a dual purpose, as guides to understanding gender inequality and as guides to action (Acker, 1987). Feminist theory has various branches regarding the causes and consequences of womens inequality. However, they all agree that women are oppressed (Abbott et al., 2005).

Literature Review
Liberal Feminism In liberal feminism, gender equality is equated with equal opportunity (Kendall, 2012). The root of womens oppression lie in womens lack of equal civil right and education opportunities (Kendall, 2012).

Also, Stromquist (2006) asserts that womens inequality is due to a lack of information about the problems facing women and lack of adequate legislation to deal with them.
Liberal feminist sees that STATE as an essential institution that will both design and implement legislations to ensure women have equal right and opportunity (Stromquist, 2006).


Literature Review
The liberal perspective believe that, the nature of men is not a stumbling block, rather to foster an egalitarian society, men need to change their attitudes, behaviours and their relationship with the opposite sex. Likewise, women also need to transform their attitudes and behaviour towards being more assertive, competitive, self-directed and individualistic (Alexander, 2010). Liberal feminist perspective have, however, been critised for not really explaining womens inequality, it merely describe and challenges it (Stromquist, 2006; Giddens et al., 2008).


Literature Review
Radical Feminist Perspective Patriarchy, an elaborate system of male domination which pervades all aspect of social and culture, is regarded by radical feminist as the root cause of womens oppression (Giddens et al., 2008). The family is seen as the key instrument of the oppression of women, through sexual and maternal obligation (Abbott et al., 2005). Also, sexism is at the core of patriarchal societies and that all social institution reflects that sexism. Whereas liberal feminist focus on the workplace and legal changes, radical feminist focus on the patriarchal family as the key site of domination and oppression (Abbott et al., 2005; Giddens et al., 2006).

Literature Review
Unlike the liberal perspective, radical feminism sees the STATE as a key agent in the perpetuation of womens inequality through it strong defense of the family as the core unit of society (Stromquist, 2006). This perspective have been criticized for downplaying material conditions while defining the gender problems solely on the basis of ideological determinants (Abbott et al 2005; Stromquist, 2006).


Literature Review
Socialist Feminism It considers the interconnection of ideological and economic forces, in which patriarchy and capitalism reinforce each other (Stromquist, 2006). The dual roles played by women, as PAID AND UNPAID workers in a capitalist economy perpetuates inequality (Kendall, 2012). The unpaid labour of women in the home and their paid labour reserve labour force simultaneously serve patriarchy capitalism (Alexander, 2010; Kendall, 2012). According to this perspective, the only way to achieve gender equality is to eliminate capitalism and develop a socialist economy that would bring equal pay and rights to women (Kendall, 2012).

Literature Review
Structural Functionalism It is based on the premise that society is made up of interdependent parts, each of which contributing to the functioning of the whole society (Babbie, 2011). This produces societal balance, solidarity and efficiency (Giddens et al., 2008). Functionalist assert that peoples socialisation into prescribed roles is the major impetus behind gender inequality (Andersen & Taylor, 2007). Gender inequality and gender difference contributes to social stability and integration (Giddens et al., 2008).


Literature Review
Advocates such as Parsons and Bale stressed that the division of labour within the family is essential for the proper functioning of the society (Fiorentine, 1993). Women perform EXPRESSIVE roles while men perform INSTRUMENTAL task (Fiorentine, 1993; Giddens et al., 2008).

However, Fiorentine (1993) believes that, the segregation or division of gender into roles leads to significant differences in occupational attainment, in that men will hold highstatus, high-authority positions while women will either not be employed or will be employed in occupations that have a large expressive components and do not interfere with their domestic responsibilities.


Literature Review
Functionalism has been critised for their interpretation of gender as a fixed role in society by purporting that men fill instrumental roles while women, expressive roles (Andersen & Taylor, 2007). This perspective has also been critised as unable to handle social changes, that is, it is static in its description based on the division of labour (Fiorentine, 1993).


The Procedure: Research Setting

The study will focus on the Mutale Water User Association. Established on 24 March, 2006 in accordance with section 9(1) of the National Water Act. Mutale WUA has a membership of about 1319 black farmers. Its area of operation includes the main catchment of the Mutale river which starts from Thononda and Tshiheni villages and ends in the Luvuvhu catchment (DWA, 2006).

The Procedure: Research Design

Research Paradigm Social Constructivism

Relative ontology Epistemologically transactional and subjective Methodologically qualitative Axiologically value-bound and emic

Research Method

Grounded Theory Method

GTM is basically for the purpose of developing or reconfirming theoretical construct to enhance further understanding of the phenomenon in question (Hill Bailey, 1997). It is inductive (from particular to the general) This method will allow an in-depth examination of the phenomenon for the development of a theoretical construct for further understanding of womens 19 participation in the water setting.

The Procedure: Research Design

Selection Theoretical sampling will be used in the process of selecting participants for the study. 20 participants will be selected in total. 15 participants will be selected for the first phase; The Mutale WUA register obtained from DWA 5 participants will be selected for the second phase. This will include 2 participants from DWA, 2 members of the management committee of the WUA and a gender practitioner.


The Procedure: Research Design

Primary data tools Data collection methods: Interviews (semi-structured) Two sets of interview, with the first set providing

direction and line of question for the the next set. A

translator will be used in the process of interviewing the participants. The interview will be face-to-face

lasting for about 30 minutes and audio recorded.

Structured observation (etic perspective)


The Procedure: Research Design

Secondary data collection Document analysis Published materials (book, articles, govt publications etc.) Unpublished materials (memos, minutes, personal communications etc.) Electronic sources will also be used.

Triangulation of data sources (Interviews, Validity and observation and document analysis) Reliability of the Member checking during observation and study

interviews Peer review of the study will also be employed by the researcher to establish credibility of the study. Objectivity will be obtained by eliciting multiple perspectives of the phenomenon. Thorough reading and re-reading of the transcript will be done in order to obtain a better 22 understanding of participants perspective.

The Procedure: Research Design

Analysis of data Constant comparative analysis with the aid of QSR Nvivo software.
Constant comparative method is the process of comparing similarities and differences of emerging categories of the data collected (Straus and Corbin, 1998). The following steps will be used to achieve the above method: Interviews will be transcribed The transcripts will then be organised and coded so as to help identify patterns and categories in the data The categories will then be conceptually organised. That is similarities, differences and relationships among categories will then be established. Lastly, a literature review will be conducted in the substantive area of emerging categories as directed by the field data analysed. 23

The Procedure: Ethical consideration

Ethics clearance by the Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee before commencing data collection Permission will be sought from the participants involved in the study through a consent form. The information collected during the study will remain confidential in secure location during and after the research. All the names of participants involved in the study will not be disclosed. Pseudonyms or alphabets will be used in place

All participants, including the vulnerable like the poor and women, will not be exploited and abused.
Providing preliminary findings of the study to the organisations involved in the study

Research Timeline
Year Activity Proposal Development Confirmation of Candidature Ethic Clearance Literature Review Data Collection Tools Development Fieldwork/ Data Collection Data Analysis Writing Chapters & Revision Draft Submission Revision & Final Thesis submission Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun 2014 Months Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec