A dynamic relationship in Bedouin communities of Israel, Jordan and the West Bank


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WASH 2011 conference: Cameron Davidson, International WaterCentre

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  • MIWM – visiting intern at AIES – 5 monthsTherelationship between water and gender and the way the two interact with and impact one another in Bedouin communitiesExplore the what is meant by a ‘dynamic’ relationship
  • Bedouin – bedu, meaning desert dweller – Middle East and North Africa – semi-nomadic or nomadicModernization allows for ‘new freedom’ but with that comes loss of both social support and shared norms (Kedem-Friedrich & Al-Atawneh 2004).Sedentarization => increased dependency on infrastructure, facilities and services (Suleiman et al. ‘Greywater management in Middle East, Chapter 4), As there is a change from nomadic to sedentary lifestyle, there has been a change in Bedouin as a lifestyle vs identityGENDER:Bedouin women are marginalized within their communities and society. Bedouin women’s access to public spheres is often limited, notably education and employment (Abu RabiaQueder 2007b). Uniqueness of study -lack of focus on gendered perspectivesFocus on changing role of women as water managers
  • In varying degrees the four communities in this case study are periphery communities, faced with various social, political, economic and environmental circumstances that together frame them as marginalized within societySPOTLIGHTS or SNAPSHOTS: provide preliminary informationfor future studiesUse of open-ended interviews to explore gendered perspectives on past, present and future water management issuesGeographic and community effectsResearch questions focused on: access, use, price, storage, sanitation, water quality and change over time Interviewed women only due to time and scope, although understanding that a true gender sensitive study should include men and womenIdentify similarities and differences and develop an understanding of ways Bedouin women perceive and are impacted by past, present and future water situation
  • Use of multiple levels of analysis to understand these dynamic relationshipsMicro to Macro levels: Micro (intra-household) and macro (Bedouin to state) – levels to be considered: household -> settlement -> state (Meallem2006)Multiple levels of analysis allow to begin to understand the complex role gender plays in water managementWomen’s livelihoods dynamically undergo change within the household, community and society.
  • The two primary issues of water access in Israel:Limited water connections to unrecognized villagesWater cut-offs due to non-payment60,000 Bedouin (unrecognized residents) “are not connected to the national water network as the Israeli government does not recognized their right to reside where they live” (pg. 4) (Keinan 2005)Recognized villages pre-1990 were designed as urban communitiesSince 1999: 9 additional ‘unrecognized’ villages have received recognition“Third world enclaves in the midst of an affluent society” (Salah 2000). ___2003: Recognized Roughly 5,000 dunams (500 ha or 1,235 acres) Pit toilets Concern regarding quality
  • UNRECOGNIZEDWomen: want to gain more skills – older women told not to work Sidreh: language classes Water: received a connection 5 years ago after 1 year of litigationLeakage was visible with puddles formingMetersIrrigation pipes were used to transport waterWomen: even though they no longer have to carry water, life is not necessarily betterPressure is sometimes weak‘Al Zarnug litigation is a-typical for unrecognized villages________________1 health clinic with 2 rooms – inadequate
  • Water: piped supplies available every other day – 1 cubic metre tank on roof (lasts every other day in summer – one week in winter)Domestic use only“Different colors”Primary concern is limited water quantityWater causes dental and kidney problems – no immediate illnessFrom Disi aquiferPrices are low and payment is not an issueOther issues of water scarcity and development in Jordan____950 villagersGovernment owned farms nearby (Al-Haq farms)Rahmeh Charity Association/Women’s Association – 1995 established, 2004 women gained leadership2 schools and 1 health clinicLimited access to transportationAdult women are uneducated
  • 500,000 Bedouin in the West Bank (UNRWA 2006)Issues: WaterFodder,Grazing Demolitions Accessing education, health care and refugee servicesVery vulnerable to the settlements and their expansionBedouin in WB face further marginalization due to Israel’s occupation and limited representation in Palestinian institutions100 UNRWA registered Bedouin refugees living off Road 317Expulsion from Arad in 1948Issues with Carmel settlement (built in 1980s)School at neighbouring village (Al-Zuweidin)2 rooms for health clinic at school (1 day/wk)No access to transportationOlder women are uneducatedMinimal economic opportunities
  • violence, demolitions and lack of political support impact Um al Khayr’s ability to secure consistent supply Immediate needs satisfied by pipe relieves burden of retrievalWater: tap into pipe 3 km away using pipes similar to drip irrigation tubing – rubber pipes must be replaced oftenPiping works best in the winter, but often in the summer they have to go by donkey to retrieve water (2 25 L containers – up to 5 trips/day) – concerns about storageBuy tankers of water (30-50 NIS/tank) up to 10x/month“Main pipe’ cut off – go to ‘natural spring’ near YattaWomen: clearly defined gender roles, women have an overall ‘time deficiency’2 toilets – open defecation is commonSolar panels from Villages Group (new) – 1 bulb/’house’
  • WATERIn ALL villages their needs were not being met, but saw improvements over the last 10 yearsImmediate vs long-term needs: Um al Khayr (immediate) rest were longer term needs such as adult education, social organizations and employmentDifficult to gain access to information regarding water supplies (Rahmeh and Qsar el Ser)Difficulty in providing their own connections: Qasr el ser – Al Zarnug – Um al KhayrNot being able to afford connections is a source of community controversyIssues with maintaining infrastructure (every village had some sort of system) Need for reliable and predictable service deliveryGENDERGender dynamics: Bedouin women losing their productive and decision-making roles – “unemployed in their own domestic sphere”Access to piped supply reduces women’s labor burden and as a result has altered their role in the household Interviewees express frustration with current role in community (Al Zarnug)n – NGOSWomen often lack formal education, skills, decision-making roles, materials and markets to decide how to use newly acquired free time (as individuals or a group)Better access to infrastructure does not mean that women have increased participation in market based work – there eareconstraints to women’s participation in market based activities (K & VDW 2010)
  • Changes in gender relations over time are highlighted through water managementWith an understanding of the water situation of each community came an increased understanding of women’s livelihoods, gender roles and the overall gender dynamics of each respondent and trends within each communityBedouin culture, as well as women’s roles within its norms, is dynamic, responding to social and environmental changes (Sharp et al. 2003). Need to expand capacity building efforts within Bedouin communities and to provide communities with the necessary tools to be able to ‘help themselves’. Future ResearchGender disaggregated dataIn-depth on each communityAlternative sources of water – gray water, rainwater harvestingUse of traditional knowledge Although the socio-political, economic and environmental context of each village varies, there are many lessons to be learned about both water and gender (and the way the two interact with and impact one another) in Bedouin communities at an international level
  • A dynamic relationship in Bedouin communities of Israel, Jordan and the West Bank

    1. 1. WASH and Gender:<br />A dynamic relationship in Bedouin communities of Israel, Jordan and the West Bank. <br />Cameron Davidson<br />
    2. 2. WASH and Gender in Bedouin Communities<br />Outline<br />Bedouin in Israel, Jordan and the West Bank<br />Case study overview<br />Analysis<br />Reflections<br />
    3. 3. Bedouin Communities <br />SANITATION<br />MODERNISATION<br />GROWTH RATE<br />GENDER<br />WATER<br />SEDENTARISATION<br />HEALTH<br />SOLID WASTE<br />EDUCATION<br />IDENTITY<br />HOUSEHOLD DYNAMICS<br />WASH and Gender in Bedouin Communities<br />
    4. 4. Case Study Villages <br />WASH and Gender in Bedouin Communities<br />
    5. 5. Levels of Analysis<br />WASH and Gender in Bedouin Communities<br />
    6. 6. Qasr el Ser - Israel<br />WASH and Gender in Bedouin Communities<br />
    7. 7. Al Zarnug- Israel<br />WASH and Gender in Bedouin Communities<br />
    8. 8. Rahmeh - Jordan<br />WASH and Gender in Bedouin Communities<br />
    9. 9. Um al Khayr– West Bank<br />WASH and Gender in Bedouin Communities<br />
    10. 10. WASH and Gender in Bedouin Communities<br />Um al Khayr– West Bank<br />
    11. 11. Analysis<br />WASH and Gender in Bedouin Communities<br />
    12. 12. Reflections<br />Immediate vs. long term needs<br />Capacity building <br />Synergy between gender empowerment and WASH initiatives<br />Future research<br />WASH and Gender in Bedouin Communities<br />
    13. 13. Acknowledgements<br />International WaterCentre<br />Arava Institute for Environmental Studies<br />Dr Clive Lipchin<br />MsMais Bader and MsWa’adNasrallah<br />SIDREH<br />Bustan<br />Villages’ Group<br />Women of Qsar el Ser, Al Zarnug, Rahmeh and Um al Khayr<br />WASH and Gender in Bedouin Communities<br />