Gender and the Commons
Water Management in Trans-Himalayan Spiti Valley, India
Keywords:Decision-making, Intersectionality, Local institutions, Women
Studies on common pool resource governance have largely focused on men, who tend to have disproportionate rights and ownership with regards property and resources. This has resulted in the access and control rights of women being generally overlooked. Gender disaggregated analyses have revealed the important role of women in the governance of the commons. While certain commons may be relatively more important for women, there are variations in their level of resource access and management role, influenced by social structures and divisions. We examined the role of gender and how such intersectionality could shape the governance of the commons in the Spiti Valley in the Indian Trans-Himalaya. We found that gender, class, and caste intersected in the governance of irrigation water. Our study highlights the role of women in the governance of the commons and points to the nuanced and variable roles found within this gender group.
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