Gender-sensitive response to the climate crisis -Romit Sen

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published Published on Aug 14, 2020   modified Modified on Aug 16, 2020

-India Water Portal

Gender-transformative approaches are needed for climate adaptation, to lessen the stresses that force people to migrate.

A crowd of people jostling by the ticket counter at Jhansi railway station in Uttar Pradesh; men and women, some with families in tow, boarding trains to Delhi, Lucknow, Mumbai and other big cities. These are common sights during the summer months at Jhansi, a major town and railway junction. People from rural areas of the Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh routinely travel to cities and towns in search of jobs and livelihoods.

Changes in rainfall patterns coupled with the topography, which does not allow rainwater to percolate and recharge the groundwater table, has led to water scarcity impacting the livelihoods and well-being of the people in the region.

For women in Bundelkhand, this means fetching water from long distances. “It’s a never-ending cycle for us,” says Sito as she balances three pots of water on her head. She, like many other women in the region, spends 2-3 hours every day, collecting water for the household. The importance of water for the people in Bundelkhand is best illustrated in the local saying “khasam mar jaae; gagri naa phoote,” translating as “let the husband die, but the pot of water should not break.”

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India Water Portal, 14 August, 2020,

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