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Gender and water

Securing water for improved rural livelihoods: The multiple-uses system approach

Most of the world’s 1.2 billion poor people, two thirds of whom are women, live in water- scarce countries and do not have access to safe and reliable supplies of water for productive and domestic uses (IFAD 2001a). The bulk of these rural poor people are dependant on agriculture for their livelihoods and live in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, the regions which are also home to most of the world’s water poor (Molden 2007).

One third of the world’s population is currently experiencing some kind of physical or economic water scarcity. A growing competition for water from different sectors, including industry, agriculture, power generation, domestic use, and the environment, is making it difficult for poor people to access this scarce resource for productive, consumptive and social uses. In water-scarce regions and countries, inequity in access to water resources is increasing because of competition for limited resources, and this particularly affects poor rural people, especially women.

Source: Gender and water. Securing water for improved rural livelihoods: The multiple-uses system approach. 2007. United Nations, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). 

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