Gender and Water Alliance

Joke Muylwijk

Executive Director

foto Joke

After many years living and working in Asian and African rural and urban regions, Joke returned to university, to study Agrarian Sociology with a specialization in Gender Studies in Agriculture. Most technical subjects of agriculture-in-the-broad-sense received equal attention, because Southern women, like men, need adequate technology as well as understanding of their social position. For half a decade she taught Gender Studies in Agriculture as associate professor in Wageningen University, to students from many technical directions and parts of the world, supervising their masters theses. Then, in India, she was responsible for the social and gender aspects of Netherlands funded programmes, making sure poor women and other disadvantaged groups (by ethnicity, religion, age, class, caste) would benefit. Since 2003 she was member of the GWA Steering Committee, and was invited to step down to take over the executive function of director in 2005.

Water and the lack of it has been at the heart of her personal history, from birth 6 meters below sea level, to irrigation projects in Pakistan and Kenya, drainage and flood management in Bangladesh, to research with women farmers in unreliable water conditions in Zimbabwe, to environmental water issues and drinking water and sanitation programmes in India. The link between these various water sectors takes shape in Integrated Water Resource Management and gender is at the core of it. Women and men have different tasks, rights, needs and skills in all water sectors, so partners or stakeholders in water development should take these into account to increase efficiency and improve impact of their work as well as enhance equality in diversity.

August 2005

Realisatie door Four Digits op basis van Plone.