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.
Agarwal, B. 1994. A Field of One's Own: Gender and Land Rights in South Asia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511522000
Agarwal, B. 1997. “Environmental Action, Gender Equity and Women's Participation.” Development and Change 28 (1): 1–44. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-7660.00033
Agarwal, B. 2001. “Participatory Exclusions, Community Forestry, and Gender: An Analysis for South Asia and a Conceptual Framework.” World Development 29 (10): 1623–1648. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0305-750X(01)00066-3
Agarwal, B. 2009. “Gender and Forest Conservation: The Impact of Women's Participation in Community Forest Governance.” Ecological Economics 68 (11): 2785–2799. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2009.04.025
Agrawal, A. 2002. “Common Resources and Institutional Sustainability.” In The Drama of the Commons, edited by E. Ostrom, T. Dietz, N. Dolšak, P. C. Stern, S. Stonich, E. U. Weber, 41–85. National Academy Press.
Allendorf, T.D., and J. Yang. 2013. “The Role of Ecosystem Services in Park–people Relationships: The Case of Gaoligongshan Nature Reserve in Southwest China.” Biological Conservation 167: 187–193. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2013.08.013
Brown, K., and M. Fortnam. 2018. “Gender and Ecosystem Services: A Blind Spot”. In Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation: Trade-offs and Governance, edited by Kate Schreckenberg, Georgina Mace, and Mahesh Poudyal, 257–270. New York: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429507090
Carlisle, K., and R. L. Gruby. 2019. “Polycentric Systems of Governance: A Theoretical Model for the Commons.” Policy Studies Journal 47 (4): 927–952. https://doi.org/10.1111/psj.12212
Casari, M., and M. Lisciandra. 2016. “Gender Discrimination in Property Rights: Six Centuries of Commons Governance in the Alps.” The Journal of Economic History 76: 559–594. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022050716000565
Crow, B., and F. Sultana. 2002. “Gender, Class, and Access to Water: Three Cases in a Poor and Crowded Delta.” Society & Natural Resources 15 (8): 709–724. https://doi.org/10.1080/08941920290069308
Joshi, D., and B. Fawcett. 2005. “The Role of Water in an Unequal Social Order in India.” In Gender, Water and Development, edited by Anne Coles and Tina Wallace, 39–56. New York: Berg. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003085461-3
Leach M., S. Joeks, and C. Green. 1995. “Gender Relations and Environmental Change.” IDS Bulletin 26: 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1759-5436.1995.mp26001001.x
Leach, M., R. Mearns, and I. Scoones. 1999. “Environmental Entitlements: Dynamics and Institutions in Community-based Natural Resource Management.” World Development 27: 225–247. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0305-750X(98)00141-7
Leach, M. 2007. “Earth Mother Myths and Other Ecofeminist Fables: How a Strategic Notion Rose and Fell.” Development and Change 38: 67–85. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7660.2007.00403.x
Nightingale, A. 2019. “Commoning for Inclusion? Commons, Exclusion, Property and Socio-natural Becomings.” International Journal of the Commons 13 (1): 16–35. http://doi.org/10.18352/ijc.927.
Ostrom, E., L. Schroeder, and S. Wynne. 1993. Institutional Incentives and Sustainable Development: Infrastructure Policies in Perspective. Westview Press.
Ostrom, E., J. Burger, C. B. Field, R. B. Norgaard, and D. Policansky. 1999. “Revisiting the Commons: Local Lessons, Global Challenges.” Science 284 (5412): 278–282. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.284.5412.278
Rahimzadeh, A. 2018. “Political Ecology of Land Reforms in Kinnaur: Implications and a Historical Overview.” Land Use Policy 70: 570–579. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2017.10.025
Tsering, T. 2018. “Socio-Economic Organisation in a Border Area of Tibetan Culture: Tabo, Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India.” Mountain Research and Development 38 (4): 411–412. https://doi.org/10.1659/mrd.mm226
Upadhyay, B. 2003. “Water, Poverty and Gender: Review of Evidences from Nepal, India and South Africa.” Water Policy 5 (5–6): 503–511. https://doi.org/10.2166/wp.2003.0032
Valdivia, C., and J. Gilles. 2001. “Gender and Resource Management: Households and Groups, Strategies and Transitions.” Agriculture and Human Values 18 (1): 5–9. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1007608717996
Wilson, D., E. Ostrom, and M. E. Cox. 2013. “Generalizing the Core Design Principles for the Efficacy of Groups.” Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 90: S21–S32. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2012.12.010
Zwarteveen M. and R. Meinzen-Dick. 2001. “Gender and Property Rights in the Commons: Examples of Water Rights in South Asia.” Agriculture and Human Values 18 (1): 11–25. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1007677317899
Copyright (c) 2021 Ranjini Murali, Ajay Bijoor, Charudutt Mishra
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
The author(s) retain copyright on work published by INSEE unless specified otherwise.
Licensing and publishing rights
Author(s) of work published by INSEE are required to transfer non-exclusive publishing right to INSEE of the definitive work in any format, language and medium, for any lawful purpose.
Authors who publish in Ecology, Economy and Society will release their articles under the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) license. This license allows anyone to copy and distribute the article for non-commercial purposes provided that appropriate attribution is given.
For details of the rights that the authors grant users of their work, see the "human-readable summary" of the license, with a link to the full license. (Note that "you" refers to a user, not an author, in the summary.)
The authors retain the non-exclusive right to do anything they wish with the published article(s), provided attribution is given to the Ecology, Economy and Society—the INSEE Journal with details of the original publication, as set out in the official citation of the article published in the journal. The retained right specifically includes the right to post the article on the authors’ or their institution’s websites or in institutional repositories.
In case of re-publishing a previously published work, author may note that earlier publication may have taken place a license different from Creative Commons. In all such cases of re-publishing, we advise the authors to consult the applicable licence at article level.