The water world is socially constructed, reflecting continuous global gender inequalities and discrimination by those who hold dominant perspectives on water. While there is a strong global acknowledgement of the roles of women in water management by the United Nations International Water for Life Decade 2005-2015, discourses on gender mainstreaming in water management are still marginalised and under-theorised. The Millennium Development Goal-7 on environmental sustainability, addressing the need of more than one billion people for a significant improvement to accessing safe drinking water and basic sanitation, stagnated without a strong political will to include gender ideology in mainstream water perspectives. This qualitative study was conducted in a sub-urban community of Northeast Thailand in 2011, exploring the gendered roles, responsibilities, and inequalities of access to and control over village water resources. Results of this study illuminate the importance of taking into account the complexity of power and negotiation in local water structures within women’s social realities.

Author Biography

Dr. Andajani-Sutjahjo is currently a senior lecturer at the Department of Public Health, School of Public Health and Psychosocial Studies, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. She has nearly 20 years of experience as a researcher and gender and health development consultant in the SE Asia region.

Professor Chirawatkul is now an independent scholar and health researcher. She spent nearly 40 years at the Faculty of Nursing, Khon Kaen University and served as the Director of WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training on Gender and Women’s Health from 2000-2013. She is currently working with Thai Health Promotion Foundation on projects addressing teenage pregnancy in Thailand.

Mr. Saito is an Environmental Engineer with working experience in Australia and Thailand. In the past five years he has been working for the Centre for Research and Training on Gender and Women’s Health, Khon Kaen University, Thailand. His interest lies mainly on flood management, with experiences in hydrology and hydraulic modelling, and GIS mapping.