ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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'They Are Not of This House': The Gendered Costs of Drinking Water's Commodification

While women's participation is considered a key element of the sustainability plan of the drinking water supply system, some villagers in Rajasthan do not count women in the households while paying common water charges. This paper explores the social, political and environmental implications of not counting girls as household members and drinkers of water. It tries to find answers to the following questions: What are the implications of girls' non-payment for the cost of drinking water in a shared system? What might girls' non-payment mean in terms of the gendered sustainability goals of the project? What are the implications for women's and girls' political subjectivity, especially where natural resources are concerned? The paper also addresses a gap in the political ecology literature with respect to the gender dimensions of neo-liberal processes in the water sector by suggesting a variety of impacts when girls are excluded from water payment.
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