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

Seema KulkarniSubscribe to Seema Kulkarni

Women and Decentralised Water Governance: Issues, Challenges and the Way Forward

Based on a study of water rights and women's rights in decentralised water governance in Maharashtra and Gujarat, this paper argues that decentralisation will fail to meet its desired objectives unless the value systems, culture and the nature of institutions, including the family, change. While the policy initiative of introducing quotas for women in public bodies is welcome and necessary, it is certainly not sufficient for the success of decentralisation in a society ridden with discrimination based on class, caste and patriarchy, and where the culture of political patronage is dominant. The presence of vibrant social and political movements that propose alternative cultural, social and political paradigms would be a necessary foundation for major social changes. The success of decentralised water governance is constrained by the conceptualisation of the larger reform in water at one level and the notions of the normative woman, community, public and the private domains, and institutions at another. Unless all of these are altered, decentralised processes will not be truly democratic.

Issues and Concerns of Deserted Women in Maharashtra

Two studies done at different times in two different parts of Maharashtra on women who have been forced out of the marital home or chose to walk out due to violence, show that women's expectations from marriage and tolerance for violence have changed. The men and their families on the other hand continue to behave in regressive and patriarchal ways while expecting the women to conform to traditional norms of the "good wife and mother". It is also clear that given their increasing numbers and plight, the state government can no longer afford to neglect these women. At the same time, women's rights organisations and civil society must join them in helping to build a culture of resistance.

K R Datye: Visionary of a Sustainable and Equitable Future

K R Datye, a civil engineer by profession, worked for more than half a century on ideas for the water, energy and infrastructure sectors, ideas that were based on a vision for India of a sustainable, equitable and a democratic agro-industrial society. A critical appraisal of KRD's work on his first death anniversary.
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