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The profile of state water
resources councils’
representatives and women’s
voice in these spaces
Fernanda
Matos
Reinaldo
Dias
Alexandre
Carrieri
Fernanda Matos
Reinaldo Dias
Alexandre de Pádua Carrieri
The profile of state water
resources councils’
representatives and women’s
voice in these spaces
Belo Horizonte
FACE/UFMG
2022
3	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
/// Fernanda Matos
Resident Post-Doctoral Researcher in Administration at UFMG.
/// Reinaldo Dias
Ph.D. in Social Sciences and Master in Political Science from Unicamp.
/// Alexandre de Pádua Carrieri
Ph.D. in Administration. Full Professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais.
Perfil dos Representantes dos Conselhos Estaduais e Recursos Hídricos e a voz das Mulheres
/// Fernanda Matos
Pesquisadora em Residência Pós-Doutoral em Administração na UFMG.
/// Reinaldo Dias
Doutor em Ciências Sociais e Mestre em Ciência Política pela Unicamp.
/// Alexandre de Pádua Carrieri
PhD em Administração. Professor Titular, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais.
Ficha catalográfica
M426p
2022
Matos, Fernanda.
The profile of state water resources councils representatives and women's voice in
these spaces / Fernanda Matos, Reinaldo Dias, Alexandre de Pádua Carrieri. - Belo
Horizonte: FACE - UFMG, 2022.
117 p.: il.
ISBN: 978-65-88208-29-8
Inclui bibliografia.
1. Recursos hídricos - Desenvolvimento. 2. Bacia hidrográfica. 3. Governança. 4.
Participação social. 5. Relações de gênero. I. Dias, Reinaldo. II. Carrieri, Alexandre de
Pádua. III. Centro de Pós-Graduação e Pesquisas em Administração. IV. Título.
CDD: 333.7
Elaborado por Isabella de Brito Alves CRB6-3045
Biblioteca da FACE/UFMG - IBA /62/2022
* Agradecemos a todos que auxiliaram na realização de contatos com os membros dos
organismos colegiados de gestão das águas; aos membros da diretoria e secretaria
executiva, pela atualização da relação de membros, e, também, aos representantes, pelo
tempodedicado a responder ao questionário de pesquisa.
O presente trabalho foi realizado com apoio da Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior
- Brasil (Capes) - Código de Financiamento 001 (Programa Pró-Recursos Hídricos - Chamada N° 16/2017)
* We would like to thank everyone who helped us contact the members of the collegiate
water resources bodies; the board members, and the executive secretariat, for updating
the list of members; and also the representatives themselves, for the time they devoted to
answering the research questionnaire.
This work was carried out with the support of the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível
Superior (“Brazilian Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education,” CAPES), within the
scope of the Water Resources Program, Call No. 16/2017, Financing Code No. 001.
Table of
contents
1.	Introduction 6
2.	 The significance of water for
the existence of life 11
3.	 The need and meaning of water security 17
4.	 The National Water Resources
Policy in Brazil 21
5.	 The role of State Water
Resources Councils 26
5.1.	 Attributions of CERH members 29
6.	 The gender issue in the scope
of water resources management 33
7.	 Participation and gender-based violence 39
7.1.	 Sexism and its significance to gender-based violence 47
8.	 The need for gender-disaggregated data 51
9.	 Methodological aspects 56
10.	 Data presentation 67
10.1.	 Socio-economic profile of council representatives 69
10.2.	 Representation composition 84
10.3.	 Women’s participation in State Water Resources Councils 89
11.	 Final Remarks 104
12.	References 109
1. 
Introduction
7	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
T
his study is part of the Retratos de Governanças das Águas (“Water
Governance Portraits”) series, which aims to analyze the profile of
river basin committees’ representatives in Brazil and provide in-
formation that can point out relevant aspects of inclusive capacity in rep-
resentation, while also identifying how they perceive their involvement
in the decision-making process and the functioning of collegiate bodies.
The project’s development stems from the notion that river basin orga-
nizations can be analyzed as governance arrangements consisting of
different actors responsible for mediating, articulating, approving, and
monitoring actions for managing water resources under their jurisdiction.
The committees are collegiate bodies with normative, propositional, con-
sultative, and deliberative powers aimed at promoting planning and de-
cision-making concerning the multiple uses of water resources in the
scope of the river basin, that is, a region comprised of territory and var-
ious water courses. These instances differ from other forms of partici-
pation in other public policies because they have the legal attribution to
deliberate on water management. Indeed, they do so in a shared manner
with users and representatives from civil society and public authorities.
The process of formulating public policies involves several actors with
distinct capacities, interests, and incentives, which interact in different
arenas. As such, its analysis requires adopting a systemic approach and
answering certain questions, such as who are the actors participating in
water policymaking processes?
Accordingly, it was necessary to survey the number of collegiate bod-
ies and their respective members. In Brazil, 233 river basin committees
were identified, of which ten are interstate committees currently in op-
8	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
eration, and 223 are created state committees. However, there may be a
delay before they start operating after they are created and installed. For
example, the state of Goiás has 11 water resources management units,
among which (a) five are running; (b) three have been created and are
currently in the installation phase; and (c) three have been created but
yet not established by decree (the Médio Araguaia and Médio Tocantins
tributaries, etc., that wash in the state of Goiás).
At the first stage of the research, 12,004 representatives were considered
to define the universe, including full and alternate members, in 203 river
basin committees already created and implemented. Seventeen e-books
were produced with data distributed by state.
In the second stage, the research data referring to the interstate com-
mittees were collected through an institutional collaboration be-
tween the Project Coordination (Núcleo de Estudos Organizacionais e
Sociedade – NEOS, linked to the Center for Research and Graduate Studies
in Business Administration – CEPEAD) of the Faculdade de Ciências
Econômicas – FACE, of the Federal University of Minas Gerais – UFMG)
and the Water Resources Planning Superintendency of the National Water
and Sanitation Agency (SPR/ANA), in December 2019, aiming to expand
the production of studies regarding the formation process and the profile
of the members of the National Water Resources Management System
(SINGREH). The survey identified 944 spaces for participation in inter-
state committees. Nine e-books with data distributed by committee were
produced (The Rio Parnaíba River Basin Committee was founded in 2018,
and when the survey was conducted, it was going through the electoral
process to choose members for their first terms). Based on this data,
e-books (a special series) on water and gender were also produced, along
with the concurrent conduction of other studies and publications1
.
1 All the studies in the Water Governance Portraits series and the publications on wa-
ter and gender (which make up the series) are available on sharing platforms, including
ResearchGate:
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Fernanda-Matos/research
9	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
This study analyzes the data concerning the state water resources coun-
cils and seeks to identify the individual actors who participate in the
water policy-making processes in these councils. Additionally, it has
been introduced to promote a debate on women’s participation and rep-
resentation in spaces created to conduct water resource management.
By acknowledging that the sustainable management of water resources
and sanitation significantly benefits society and the economy as a whole,
it is necessary to include men and women, in all their diversity, in the
deliberations that must take place in these decision-making forums to
manage a resource that is crucial to life.
Numerous studies have pointed out how the lack of access to safe drink-
ing water affects the lives of communities and, more intensely, of women
(whether as they perform “their” roles and responsibilities associated
with care or in the scope of the risks associated with personal hygiene
and health, violence, or the compromising of future perspectives).
Despite various global commitments (such as Agenda 2030), inequalities
have persisted between men and women, particularly regarding access
to work opportunities and equal pay, decision-making, and access to and
control over land and financial resources. Gender issues lie at the heart
of the provision, management, and conservation of the world’s water
resources, in addition to safeguarding public health and human digni-
ty through the provision of adequate sanitation and hygiene services.
Therefore, the gender perspective must be integrated into national and
global water and sanitation planning and monitoring processes.
Although there have been efforts to reduce gender inequality, yet another
problem persists concerning the amount of inadequate information that
fails to provide details about women’s participation in the various water
resources processes. What happens is that women’s specific problems
and needs are not adequately addressed. One of the primary reasons for
this is the lack of gender-disaggregated data (GDD).
In this context, this study undertakes efforts to integrate a gender ap-
proach into state water resources councils (CERH) while relying on gen-
der-disaggregated data. Furthermore, in the questions introduced to
state council representatives, we tried to collect data that would indi-
10	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
cate the occurrence of situations that could be characterized as gen-
der violence.
A prominent issue addressed in this study and the project mentioned
above was the gap observed between the formal recognition of gender
issues in water and sanitation policies and projects and the lack of real
efforts to effectively address gender differences and inequalities in the
water and sanitation sector.
In professions associated with water resources management, gender
issues have continued to be addressed as a secondary issue or an af-
terthought. They are typically not considered a component of the pro-
fessional cores, whether in technological fields such as engineering or
applied social sciences such as administration.
As such, a relevant element of this study was to substantiate and explain
this gap to identify ways to improve gender integration in water man-
agement in the future.
This study begins by highlighting the importance of water and how it has
increasingly become a strategic resource (sections 2 and 3). Next, we
detail the National Water Resources Policy to situate the state councils
and their role in the National Water Resources System (sections 4 and
5). The following sections (6, 7, and 8) constitute the core of the research
and support the analysis of the data collected for the purposes of this
study. Sections 9 and 10 address the methodological aspects, and the
penultimate section (section 10) presents a list of gender-disaggregated
data, which are analyzed and whose respective conclusions are exposed
in the concluding section (11), which deals with the study’s findings.
2. 
The significance
of water for the
existence of life
12	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
T
he importance of water for sustaining life is indisputable, as it
is vital to human health and social well-being and affects all as-
pects of society, from households to agriculture, industry, and
the environment. Moreover, it is one of the determinants of sustainable
development (Kholif  Elfarouk, 2014). Water is required in all sectors of
society to produce food, energy, goods, and services. There is an over-
riding realization related to the benefits and utilities that water offers:
without water, there can be no life. Also, to sustain life and enjoy all its
benefits, we must achieve environmental conservation and preservation,
particularly water.
The utilities of water are countless, as it is used for consumption, grow-
ing, and producing food and energy, transportation, as a political and
cultural symbol, as well as to offer spaces for entertainment, recreation,
or tourism. However, for these benefits to be realized, interventions of
various kinds are necessary because water resources do not always obey
the limits imposed by human-made political structures. When this is not
done, nature imposes itself, and water shows itself in all its immensi-
ty, breaking the natural limits, spreading, modifying the landscape, and
causing losses and damages (both social and economic), which are man-
ifested in floods, torrents, and overflowing rivers, destroying things in
its path, especially in areas occupied by low-income communities.
In its natural cycle, water alternates between liquid and vapor states,
and when it flows back into the ground, it provides an important en-
vironmental function in the form of fresh water, which becomes purer
as it goes through evaporation and liquefaction processes, which work
as natural filters. However, it turns out that human-made polluting pro-
cesses compromise and reduce the quality of renewed fresh water. In
13	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
addition, contamination by acid rain, the excess or type of pollutant load
discharged into waterways, such as hormones and pesticides, often re-
quires complex and expensive treatments that are not always available,
either because of their high cost or because they involve cutting-edge
technologies that require highly specialized labor and increasingly com-
plex equipment. Thus, pollution jeopardizes the health and lives of those
using those waters (Senra, 2021).
As for the benefits of the precious liquid, the problem is that not every-
one has broad access to this fundamental resource. An estimated four
billion people live in regions characterized by water shortages that occur
at least once a month yearly (Mekonnen  Hoekstra, 2016). This number,
which is already significant (since the world population reached an es-
timated 7.9 billion people in 2021), is likely to become more significant
in the near future if nothing is done. After all, the population is expect-
ed to reach 8.5 billion people in 2020, the same year the Sustainable
Development Goals are expected to be achieved (UNDESA, 2021).
The seriousness of the water scenario on the planet can be expressed in
figures that show that humanity may be on the brink of disaster. Billions
of people worldwide still live without safely managed drinking water, san-
itation, and hygiene services. If unsustainable water consumption and
management patterns remain, by 2050, at least one in four people (2.8
billion) will likely live in a country that is affected by severe water scar-
city (OECD, 2021). Today, half of the world’s largest cities already face
water scarcity (WEF, 2027), and more than 2 billion people have limited
access to water resources.
Brazil is home to about 12% of the world’s freshwater (ANA, 2019b).
Considering that 3% of the global population lives in the country, one
would not expect water to be a severe problem. It turns out that availabil-
ity varies, both geographically and seasonally. As Cardoso (2008) points
out, there are problems in managing water resources throughout the
country, which vary in severity due to several factors that have not been
adequately addressed due to the lack of efficient management. Among
the most significant problems is the difficulty in expanding supply in
regions with low river basin availability and improving quality by reduc-
14	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
ing domestic and industrial pollution. In addition, we can mention runoff
pollution from agriculture as well, in the form of pesticides, herbicides,
and nutrients.
According to ANA, regarding availability, Brazil has a large water supply in
global terms. Indeed, “about 260,000 m3/s” of water flow in the Brazilian
territory on average, meaning that the country has the world’s largest
drinking water reserve, accounting for about 12% of the world’s total.
However, this does not exclude the country’s possibility of lacking this
resource, given the growing demand and pollution (ANA, 2015). Of this
total, “205,000 are in the Amazon River basin, leaving for the rest of the
territory an average flow of 55,000 m3/s” (ANA, 2015, p. 25). According
to ANA (2017), dry spells, droughts, and floods account for about 84%
of the natural disasters in Brazil from 1991 to 2012. During that peri-
od, almost 39,000 natural disasters affected around 127 million people.
47.5% (2,641) of Brazilian municipalities declared a state of emergency
or state of public calamity due to floods at least once from 2003 to 2016.
About 55% (1,435) of these municipalities are located in Brazil’s south
and southeast regions. As for dry spells or droughts, about 50% (2,783)
of Brazilian municipalities declared an emergency or state of public ca-
lamity in the same period.
The disparities affecting sustainable water resource management could
be aggravated by extreme weather events and changes in rainfall pat-
terns as a result of climate change and inappropriate water-intensive
behaviors such as excessive freshwater withdrawals, increasing urban-
ization rates, and economic development (Mekonnen  Hoekstra, 2016;
Rockstrom et al., 2014).
Currently, climate change due to increased global warming is al-
ready a complicating factor for water resource management, and this
is likely to worsen in the coming years. The reports published by the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change show that the water cycle is
directly linked to climate. Furthermore, several studies (IPCC, 2013, 2014,
UNESCO, 2020) have shown how climate change modifies the historical
behavior of rainfall and reduces water quantity and quality, which, in
15	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
turn, can jeopardize the supply of this resource and contribute to ex-
panding conflicts over its use.
Due to the prospect of an increasing water crisis, the availability of wa-
ter resources in sufficient quantity and quality has become an object of
social concern in recent years. Consequently, the need to manage water
as a resource has increased so that users have access to it in the right
amount, with the right quality, and available at the right time (Huitema
 Meijerink (2007).
Many factors may hinder access to clean water, whether geographic, eco-
nomic, or social (Mehta  Movik, 2014), and they interfere with the sus-
tainable management of water resources. These factors include popula-
tion growth, inefficient use, climate change, degradation of river basins
and watercourses, unsustainable approaches to addressing water supply
shortages, increasing urbanization, dry spells, and institutional and or-
ganizational inadequacies. As a result, these factors result in a potential
decrease in the availability of fresh water and its impending scarcity as
a source for sustaining life.
The management of water resources necessarily involves paying special
attention to the use of water in rural areas since it concentrates the most
intensive collection (72% of all harvestings), followed by 16% in towns
and cities for residential and services use, and 12% to be used by the
industrial sector (UN-Water, 2021).
Population growth and the improvement in the quality of life of a share
of the global population resulting from the rise of the middle classes
exert high pressure on natural areas. Indeed, this pressure has accel-
erated the degradation of wetlands as these are frequently considered
a hindrance to urban expansion and therefore landfilled to expand the
physical land space for real estate occupation. This, in turn, increases
the level of contamination of the remaining wetland areas. This is an old
phenomenon, as it is estimated that over 85% of wetlands have been lost
since the pre-industrial era (IPBES, 2019). There is a close relationship
between population increase, urbanization, and wetland losses.
16	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
The world population will continue to grow along with water demand,
making it an increasingly strategic resource. As a result, its control will
become an instrument of power, a key to economic development, and a
factor that will trigger numerous social and political problems.
Water is a finite, freely accessible, multi-purpose resource that is becom-
ing scarce. As such, conflicts at all levels (local, regional, national, and
international) have been provoked over the use and preservation of the
world’s dwindling water supplies. Yet, there is growing recognition that
improving water management has become increasingly imperative for
achieving sustainable development, alleviating poverty, and preserving
biodiversity.
Water scarcity arises when water is insufficient to simultaneously sup-
port human and ecosystem water needs (White, 2014). Most often, this
arises due to a basic lack of water. However, it can also stem from in-
adequate infrastructure to provide access to what might otherwise be
considered ample available water resources. The concept of scarcity also
encompasses water quality, as degraded water resources are rendered
unavailable or, at best, marginally available for use in human and nat-
ural systems.
Increasing water scarcity is one of the greatest global challenges in the
contemporary world. As local demand for water increases above supply
in many regions, effective governance of available water resources will
be key to achieving water security, fairly allocating water resources, and
resolving related disputes (UNDP-SIWI, 2016).
3. 
The need and
meaning of
water security
18	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
A
ccording to the Global Water Partnership, GWP (2012), water se-
curity means that “every person has access to enough safe water
at an affordable cost to lead a clean, healthy and productive life
while ensuring that the natural environment is protected and enhanced.”
In the scope of water security, the term “acceptable level of risk” implies
three aspects to be considered. The first aspect is that too much water
also causes deaths, with the occurrence of floods, landslides, contami-
nation, and disease, for example. The second point is that there is a vari-
ation in the consumption rate per citizen in different countries, within
the same country, and between social classes. Finally, the third aspect
to consider is that the perception of “level” depends on who decides
and who is impacted by the outcome of the decision (GWP, 2012). Thus,
the minimum amount for those who need it depends on various social,
economic, and cultural factors.
Starting in the 1980s, in developing countries, the governance arrange-
ments for river basin management were proposed, aiming, among other
purposes, to ensure access to water and establish standards to protect
the quality of territorial waters and achieve water security.
In this respect, water security results from good water governance and
can increase access to water and sanitation and foster the preservation
of the quantity and quality conditions of water resources. In general, it
aims to reduce absolute poverty, improve the population’s health, and
maintain and conserve natural resources. First, however, it is necessary
to adopt policies and strategies that promote better management and
use of water resources through participation and inter-relations between
the different actors and user sectors, including the environment itself.
19	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
Therefore, we emphasize that the participation of all the actors from
all sectors of society constitutes a crucial element for promoting water
management equity. Another point to be considered is that transparen-
cy and institutional development are paramount to enable and facilitate
participation to achieve effective governance and superior opportunities
in the face of climate variability and its associated impacts.
That is an element of contention, and the problems related to governance
and management of water resources could result in strong impasses con-
cerning the availability of water and food and the potential social and
political conflicts arising in this scenario. Therefore, it is important to
look into the problem of water security from a governance perspective,
that is, to consider the urgency of the water issue and other related
aspects such as food, energy, the right to water, gender, and social par-
ticipation. This perspective aligns with the United Nations Agenda 2030
and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially concerning
water resources (SDG 6). This goal aims to ensure the availability and
sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, and to imple-
ment, by 2030, integrated water resources management at all levels, in-
cluding transboundary cooperation, as appropriate. In this study, the
approach to governance focuses on the role played by society in river
basin arrangements.
According to the National Water Agency (ANA), by the year 2030, the de-
mand for water in Brazil is expected to increase by approximately 200%.
Therefore, the ANA and the Ministry of Regional Development designed
the National Water Security Plan (PNSH) to tackle water crises and floods
in 2019. The plan aims to keep the water system balanced throughout
the country, avoiding droughts and floods by adopting measures to be
implemented by 2035. The measures were divided into three categories:
studies and projects, constructions, and institutional measures. Each
Brazilian region has specific projects according to its needs and char-
acteristics. An example is stricter dam construction inspection to avoid
socio-environmental accidents (ANA, 2019).
In 2021, the ANA published the second edition of the Atlas Águas – Segurança
Hídrica do Abastecimento Urbanos. This extensive study incorporated con-
20	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
cepts and tools from the PNSH, enhancing the notion of water security
specifically targeted at water supply in Brazilian cities. The Atlas evalu-
ates all springs and urban water supply systems and recommends solu-
tions for current and future demands of the 5,570 Brazilian cities by 2035.
Moreover, it indicates what investments will be necessary (about BRL 110
billion by 2035) for 100% of the urban population of these municipalities
to be served according to the precepts of water security, from the spring
to the tap (ANA, 2021).
According to the ANA study (2021), the country is in the midst of a water
crisis, with its primary reservoirs for supply and energy production oper-
ating in critical condition. In this scenario, the Federal Government and
the state and municipal governments need to join forces and invest in
safeguarding the country’s entire supply cycle, which also includes pre-
serving water sources. The BRL 7.3 billion in annual investments required
until 2035 will be necessary to pull the country out of water shortage
cycles that have become increasingly severe and recurrent.
The study reveals the high vulnerability of water sources in Brazilian
cities since about 44% of them may dry up or be affected by floods and
climate change. Around 5.8 million Brazilians face challenges in their
everyday lives due to the high vulnerability of the country’s water re-
sources. Another problem pointed out by the study is waste. The Atlas
shows that 22% of Brazilian cities use water resources inefficiently; 13%
need to reduce leakage; 19% have the potential to make significant im-
provements, and 46% need to conduct assessments to confirm the ef-
fectiveness of their improvements. The problem of water governance
arises from the acknowledgment that no municipality in the country has
achieved the maximum degree of efficiency in managing water resources
(ANA, 2021).
4. 
The National
Water Resources
Policy in Brazil
22	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
T
he National Water Resources Policy (Política Nacional de Recursos
Hídricos, PNRH) was created following the enactment of Law No.
9.433/97 on January 8, 1997. Also known as the Water Law, the
PNRH was established to ensure water availability in quality standards
appropriate to its respective uses by seeking prevention and sustainable
development through the rational and integrated use of water resources.
Some of its principles include (i) the recognition of water as a public do-
main asset, aiming to ensure that current and future generations have
water availability in quality standards appropriate to their respective
uses; (ii) the recognition of water as a finite and vulnerable resource,
endowed with economic value, requiring a rational and integrated use of
water resources with a view to sustainable development; (iii) the adop-
tion of the river basin as a planning unit, aiming at adapting the man-
agement of water resources to the physical, biotic, demographic, eco-
nomic, social and cultural diversity of each region; and (iv) the adoption
of decentralized and participative management to articulate the water
resources planning together with that of the user sectors, in addition to
the regional, state and federal spheres (BRASIL, 1997).
The principles on which the Water Law was based were established by con-
sensus and international debate, especially in the International Conference
on Water and the Environment held in Dublin in 1992 and the declaration
of principles published in the event’s report (see Dublin principles, 1992).
By recognizing the river basin as a planning and management unit, the
legislation established a participatory policy, endowed with a deci-
sion-making process that involves different economic and social agents
linked to water use, in a context that includes a new view regarding the
powers of the State and the users (Cardoso, 2008). One can also say
23	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
that the adoption of river basins as management units is supported by
Bertalanffy’s systems concept2
, by acknowledging the areas as inter-
acting and interdependent parts; that is, the changes taking place in a
given region of the watershed can affect other regions as well, given the
interconnection of water flows, which form a complex or unitary whole.
Also in line with Principle No. 2 of the Dublin Declaration is the adoption of
decentralized and participatory management in the legislation incorporated
the vision of New Public Management (NPM) and the movement to reduce
and restructure the State apparatus, also associated with the public gover-
nance movement. It is also worth noting that Principle No. 3 of the Dublin
Statement, which deals with the crucial role of women in water management
and safeguarding, has not been included in Brazilian legislation or policy.
PNRH was based on systems in which the federal or state public powers
share their competence with non-governmental entities (users and civil
associations) and collegiate bodies (river basin committees and water
resources councils). These competencies refer to decisions pertaining
mainly to planning the use of water resources in river basins.
Article 4 of the law mentioned above determines that the Federal
Government and the states must articulate to implement the National
Water Resources Management System. This means that the Federal
Government – through the National Water Agency – and the state author-
ities must act in a harmonious, complementary fashion through a unified
system specific to each river basin, aiming at granting, supervising, and
charging for the use of water resources. The states, as well as the Federal
District, are responsible for the management of the waters under their
control and, therefore, must elaborate specific legislation for the area,
organize the State Water Resources Council (established to meet the need
for integration of the public agencies, the productive sector, and the civil
society, aiming at ensuring the control of the water and its use in quantity
and quality, required for its multiple uses), and guarantee the functioning
of the basin committees in their region; that is, the forums in which a
2 Karl Ludwig von Bertalanffy, founder of the general systems theory (also known by its
acronym, GST)
24	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
group of people meets to discuss a common interest, in this case, the use
of water in the basin in question. The executive branches of the Federal
District and the municipalities are responsible for integrating local poli-
cies for basic sanitation, land use, occupation and conservation, and the
environment with federal and state water resource policies (BRASIL, 1997).
The Water Law has not assigned specific powers to municipalities; it has
merely established its role in integrating local policies. However, munici-
palities play a pivotal role in managing water resources by implementing
and regulating policies for basic sanitation, land use, occupation, and
conservation, as well as the environment. Therefore, even though water-
courses are units under federal or state control, the municipalities are
key players in preserving water resources within their borders. We must
remember that the municipalities, according to the common administra-
tive competence reserved to them by the Federal Government, the states,
and the Federal District, must operate as a form of water police, as estab-
lished in Article 23 of the Constitution, and, therefore, must “protect the
environment and to fight pollution in any of its forms” (Section VI) and
“register, monitor and control the concessions of rights to research and
exploit hydric and mineral resources within their territories” (Section XI).
The analysis of water resources management reveals that the
Constitution recognizes water as a public asset and divides the respon-
sibilities for this specific resource between the Federal Government and
the states. However, unlike other policies, in which the role of the munic-
ipality is preponderant, cities have their power reduced in the scope of
water management, considering that no waters are controlled by munici-
palities. Therefore, the cities have no attributions on water management
other than participating in river basin committees, as well as integrating
environmental policies at the local level. Therefore, we can consider the
existence of the fourth level of decentralization of administration in the
scope of water resources management since the territorial division of
river basins does not coincide with the municipal and/or state adminis-
trative divisions. There is almost always more than one water domain to
be considered in management, which imposes the need for negotiation
and institutional articulation to overcome the obstacles imposed by the
legal norms providing for each river basin’s watercourses (ANA, 2007).
25	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
The National Water Resources Management System (Sistema Nacional
de Gerenciamento de Recursos Hídricos, SINGREH) is an ensemble of col-
legiate bodies in charge of formulating and implementing the National
Water Policy. The National Council of Water Resources, the state water
resources councils, and the river basin committees (at state and federal
levels) are part of SINGREH and aim to deliberate and formulate water re-
sources policies. Finally, SINGREH also comprises the federal, state, and
municipal government agencies, whose attributions concern the manage-
ment of water resources, the water agencies, which operate as executive
secretaries, and the organizations.
The highest body in the SINGREH is the National Council of Water Resources
(Conselho Nacional de Recursos Hídricos, CNRH), which is structured as
a collegiate, consultative, deliberative (makes decisions), and normative
body (establishes norms) and is a part of the Regimental Structure of the
Ministry of Regional Development. The CNRH is the agency that defines
the National Water Resources Policy and the general rules for water man-
agement. The CNRH’s attributions include analyzing proposals for chang-
ing water resources legislation, establishing complementary guidelines
for implementing the National Water Resources Policy, and promoting the
articulation of water resources planning with the national, regional, state,
and user sectors plannings. Furthermore, they must arbitrate conflicts
over water resources, discuss projects concerning the use of these re-
sources whose repercussions go beyond the scope of the states where
they will be implemented, approve proposals for the creation of river basin
committees, establish general criteria for granting rights to use water
resources and charging for their use, and approving the National Water
Resources Plan and following up its execution.
Furthermore, the CNRH operates as a forum for debate, acting as a space for
conflict mediation, negotiation, and social agreement, and as a mediator
between the various water users in the country. Its operation was estab-
lished by Federal Decree No. 10,000 of September 3, 2019, which provides
for its composition, establishes six new technical chambers, and deliberates
over competencies, structure, and other Council mechanisms (PCJ, 2019).
5. 
The role of State
Water Resources
Councils
27	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
P
ublic policy councils are public spaces linked to the Executive
Branch. Fundamentally, they fall within the scope of democratic
governance. They are institutionalized channels of participation,
characterized by marking the “reconfiguration of the relations between
State and society” and instituting “a new modality of public control over
governmental action and, ideally, of co-responsibility regarding the de-
sign, monitoring, and evaluation of policies.” The councils constitute
“public” (non-governmental) spaces that signal the possibility of repre-
sentation of collective interests in the political scenario and the defini-
tion of the public agenda,” composing a space of intermediary articula-
tion since they are simultaneously part of the state and society as well
(Carneiro, 2006, p.149, 151).
The State Water Resource Councils (CERH) are also central deliberative,
advisory, and propositional bodies of the state systems. Their attribu-
tions include establishing the principles and guidelines of the state water
resources policy of their respective state to be observed by the state
plan and the river basin master plans; approving the state plan proposal;
deciding conflicts between committees and acting as an appellate court
in the decisions made in the scope of the river basin committees.
Similarly to what is established at the federal level, the CERHs, as the cen-
tral deliberative and normative body of the state water resources system,
are responsible for implementing the State Water Resources Policy and
planning, regulating, and controlling the use, preservation, and recovery
of the state water resources and aquatic ecosystems, among other at-
tributions. Therefore, they define priorities in the states’ political agen-
da regarding the uses of water for the various purposes for which it is
intended. In this context, each council enjoys autonomy in its state to
28	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
define its priorities. Although similar in general terms, the attributions
of each state council are very much linked to the specific characteristics
of each region.
In general, the state councils are responsible for3
a.	 outlining the principles and guidelines of the State Water Resources
Policy to be observed by the State Water Resources Plan and to fol-
low up the elaboration and approve the State Water Resources Plan
and its execution, as well as determine the necessary measures to
fulfill its goals;
b.	 approving the planning of the annual and multi-annual programs
and projects for the application of public resources in the scope of
activities related to the state water resources;
c.	 deciding any conflicts between the SIGRH’s component agencies and
between users as a last resort;
d.	 approving the application plan for the resources of the State Fund
for Water Resources and their accountability;
e.	 establishing norms and approving the creation of river basin com-
mittees and reservoir management councils;
f.	 qualifying the civil organizations under the Law for participating in
the management of state water resources;
g.	 creating technical chambers and workgroups to discuss and forward
actions on themes of interest to the CRH;
h.	 approving the values to be charged for the right to use water;
i.	 deliberating over projects for the use of water resources that go
beyond the scope of the river basin committee;
j.	 defining the criteria and general rules for granting the right to use
water resources;
3 These core competencies were established based on an analysis of the competencies of the state councils of
Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso, Santa Catarina, and Pernambuco.
29	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
k.	 recognizing the inter-municipal river basin consortiums or associ-
ations or the regional, local, or multi-sector associations of water
resources users;
l.	 proposing norms for the use, preservation, and recovery of water
resources;
m.	 approving the creation of Water Agencies.
The creation of the state councils provided for establishing river basin
committees (CBH), which operate as a permanent normative and deliber-
ative collegiate. In the committees, representatives of the various seg-
ments of society belonging to the basin in question meet to discuss prob-
lems and their solutions concerning the various uses of water resources
and define actions to preserve them. When the CBHs were constituted,
the goal was to propose a modality of public management collegiate, ad-
vocating for the priority of the collective interests over private ones and
establishing a participation channel for exercising civic consciousness.
Therefore, the CBHs reduce the risks of public interests being distorted
by momentary interests by guiding public policies (LOPES  NEVES, 2017).
5.1.	 Attributions of CERH members
The council members play the role of representatives of the interests of
the segment to which they are linked. The representatives of the entities
or organizations comprised by the CERH have numerous attributions that,
if well understood in their importance, assign greater relevance to the
role played by the council members, as they exercise a public function
in which their responsibility for the council’s acts is explicit.
The numerous duties of the council members encompass a range of re-
sponsibilities that allows the council to expand its activities and enables
each member to effectively perform a function that will serve as “train-
ing” for the exercise of leadership in other spaces, either public or other-
wise. The way it functions is similar to a city council, for example. Along
these lines, the CERH constitute spaces that not only echo the problems
30	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
and discussions concerning water resources in societies but also form
an important locus for the formation of leaders who learn how to voice
their views in meetings and assemblies to the most diverse actors; or, in
other words, they come to understand “how to do politics,” in the sense
of articulating diverse interests to achieve a specific result.
In summary, the main attributions of the CERH members are4
:
a.	 any council member may formulate propositions in writing to the ex-
ecutive secretariat in the form of proposals for resolutions, amend-
ments, requests, or motions;
b.	 after the matter is reported, each council member may speak for five
minutes, according to the order of registration. The same time shall
also be granted for the defense of any proposition or clarification
by the rapporteur or proponent. The speaker will only be interrupted
if he or she consents to it; parallel interruptions are not permitted;
c.	 any council member may request that the process be reviewed, as
long as they give reasons for doing so, either during the discussion
or voting. If that is decided by a simple majority of the plenary, the
postponement of the matter will be scheduled for the next meeting;
d.	 any council member may raise questions intended to preserve the
order of the meeting proceedings by indicating the procedural provi-
sion on which they are based and shall be decided by the chairman;
e.	 the chairman shall put matters to a vote after discussion. All council
members present in the plenary session shall be entitled to vote; in
case of a tie, the chairman shall have the casting vote. The matter
that obtains a simple majority of the board members’ votes will be
considered approved;
f.	 act cooperatively so that the CERH’s objectives are achieved;
g.	 appoint representatives from agencies or entities to participate in
the proceedings;
4 These attributions form a compilation obtained from the internal regulations of several Brazilian states, includ-
ing Amazonas, Pernambuco, Minas Gerais, São Paulo, Paraná, Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul, and Mato Grosso.
31	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
h.	 disseminate and implement the measures, plans, and programs ap-
proved by the CERH within the scope of its bodies or the entities it
represents;
i.	 propose matters for the agenda and consideration by the plenary;
j.	 request the review of any matter presented to the plenary session,
or remove matters of their authorship from the agenda;
k.	 request information, measures, and clarifications from the chairman
and the executive secretary;
l.	 prepare and present reports and opinions within pre-established
deadlines;
m.	 participate in the thematic chambers and workgroups with the right
to speak and, when a member, to vote;
n.	 propose matters for deliberation by the plenary, in the form of a
resolution proposal or motion;
o.	 propose points of order in plenary meetings;
p.	 When both the full and the alternate members are present, the al-
ternate will only have the right to speak;
q.	 propose the creation of a temporary or permanent techni-
cal chamber;
r.	 request the executive secretary to include in the minute their dis-
senting point of view, explanation of vote, or other observation
deemed pertinent;
s.	 propose the invitation of people with notorious knowledge, person-
alities, and specialists, depending on the matters on the agenda, to
support the council’s related subjects;
t.	 provide clarifications about actions, propositions, and decisions of
the entities they represent.
We can also add the need to keep informed and up to date on the specif-
ic matters of the area and deliberations; collaborate for the deepening
of the discussions and assist the collegiate decisions; disseminate the
discussions and decisions of the council in the institutions it represents
32	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
and in other spaces; seek to expose contributions from their respective
segments, which can strengthen the management of water resources
in the state; maintain an alignment with their alternates to exchange
information, in addition to principles of ethical conduct, such as loyalty
to the public interest, decorum in the exercise of their functions, effi-
ciency, transparency, impersonality; and keeping up to date about the
phenomenon of social exclusion, its structural and national causes, so
as to contribute to the construction of civic consciousness and the fight
against poverty.
6. 
The gender issue
in the scope of
water resources
management
34	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
I
n developing countries, meeting basic water supply and sanitation
needs is the most pressing water security issue (Ritchie  Roser,
2019). As water becomes increasingly scarce, governments that fail
to enforce water resource management improvements will allow market
forces to privatize water, which occurs when private companies take own-
ership of water production and distribution. Water prices often skyrocket
when water is privatized, even if the service is poor; this, in turn, causes
problems for impoverished families who must use substantial portions
of their income to afford a basic right. Women are the first to suffer from
the negative impacts of water privatization because, as managers of their
families, they are often forced to buy water and forgo other produc-
tive activities, such as farming subsistence crops that require irrigation
(UNWATER/WHO, 2015).
However, traditional approaches to water management are highly seg-
regated and focus on technical improvements and sectoral solutions
without devoting sufficient attention to its social aspects and basic
sustainability goals. Traditional approaches related to water resources
engineering excel in a masculinized discourse that emphasizes “build,
command, and control.” This is employed by technical, economic, and
political elites, as well as other sectors of society such as politics and
business, leaving out voices that are already marginalized and invisible,
such as women, the poor, ethnic groups, and racial minorities (Earle 
Bazilli, 2013)
Many specific groups are discriminated against in the area of access
to water and sanitation due to their social or personal status according
to factors such as gender identity, race, ethnicity, religion, nationality,
birth, caste, language, disability, age, and health status. Among the in-
35	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
equalities, the one that stands out as an element that marginalizes half
of all human societies is the one between men and women, which is pres-
ent across the world. This inequality is accentuated not only by the fact
that one is a woman but is even more intensified among individuals who
present multiple discriminated identities, such as Black women, disabled
women, women belonging to different ethnic groups, etc.
Gender is linked to social constructions rather than natural character-
istics like biological sex. They refer to the roles, responsibilities, rights,
relationships, and identities of women and men, which are outlined or at-
tributed to them in the scope of a given society or context, as well as how
these roles, responsibilities, rights, and identities impact and influence
one another. Therefore, gender refers to the set of qualities and behav-
iors expected of women and men, and since it is socially constructed, it
differs among different cultures.
Gender relations are constructed by a number of institutions, such as do-
mestic, political, and legal systems, religious authorities, and the market-
place. What they have in common is that they all tend to create disadvan-
tages for women. For example, when gender expectations intersect with
poverty, ethnicity, background, age, disabilities, and sexual orientation,
the result is complex and multifaceted, creating barriers to a dignified,
equal, and safe life for all women and girls. These barriers determine who
has access to and control over services, goods, and resources and who
benefits from their use (UNDP/SIWI, 2016).
Inequality between men and women has not been camouflaged or con-
cealed throughout history; it has always been assumed as a consequence
of the distinct nature of the two sexes, necessary for the survival and
progress of the human species. The change begins to occur from the de-
velopment of feminist thinking, which denounces the situation of women
as an effect of patterns of oppression and moves toward “a broad critique
of the social world, which reproduces asymmetries and prevents the au-
tonomous action of many of its members” (Miguel  Biroli, 2014, p. 17).
Importantly, “the category ‘woman’ has been constructed amid relations
distinguished by patriarchy and male domination.” Thus, what is accept-
36	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
ed as femininity is not the expression of nature, but the result of the work
of social pressures, constraints, and expectations (Miguel, 2014, p. 79),
as explained by Simone de Beauvoir in The Second Sex.
The fact is that economic, political, and social inequalities also involve
access to drinking water and in this process of marginalization, peo-
ple and groups disproportionately suffer the economic, health, and wa-
ter-seeking impacts, which, in turn, intensifies social inequalities. In
this case, power relations, financial status, and social positions impact
women and girls more intensely through lack of clean water, sanitation,
and hygiene services, and therefore impact their dignity. Understanding
these peculiar vulnerabilities is as relevant as revealing the gender di-
mensions of access to water since both lead to situations of water inse-
curity and an increased need to achieve more equitable access to this
resource (UNWATER/WHO, 2015). Therefore, equality refers to equal and
fair rights between men and women regarding access to society’s re-
sources while acknowledging their unique needs. This may include equal
or differential treatment, which is seen as equivalent in terms of rights,
benefits, obligations, and opportunities. Furthermore, regarding devel-
opment, gender equality often requires incorporating affirmative actions
to compensate for the historical and social disadvantages women have
been subjected to.
In the scope of this social reorientation, more recent studies have ac-
knowledged that a gender approach is crucial to developing effective,
efficient, and sustainable systems and strategies. In line with recom-
mendations of various international conferences, statements, agendas,
and commitments, there seems to be a consensus around the fact that
women should participate more intensively in water resources manage-
ment, which would make management more efficient, user-focused, fi-
nancially viable, and environmentally sustainable (OECD, 2021). In addi-
tion, research by the United Nations
In the water sector, it is often the case that decisions are mostly taken
and implemented by men. This results in management decisions that
are likely to be incomplete since valuable information is missing from at
least half of the population, which is made up of women. Experience has
37	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
shown that the efficiency and sustainability of water projects are boost-
ed when women and men are involved in decision-making, supervision,
and water supply. In addition, women and minorities possess differenti-
ated knowledge, vital for sustainable resource management, and unique
perspectives on responsibilities, priorities, and needs around water use
and management (UNDP/SIWI, 2016).
Indeed, the most important underused development resources we have
are human resources. For example, suppose half of the world’s population
is prevented from developing their mental, physical, and social capabili-
ties. In that case, this will severely restrict our potential for sustainable
development so we can effectively manage our dwindling water supplies.
The emphasis on gender mainstreaming in the water sector reflects
the recognition that the interests and needs of women and men must
be systematically pursued within the implementation of national and
regional policies. In other words, attention to gender issues cannot be
confined to a specific sector, such as a women’s department or sector,
or addressed in isolated or marginal programs within the water sector
(OECD/DAC, 1998).
An increasingly emphatic consensus has been created that any solu-
tion to global water scarcity must include the gender dimension in the
management and consumption of water resources (UNESCO, 2018). In the
domestic environment, women take responsibility for the acquisition,
allocation, and use of water in many cultures. In rural settings, women
and girls, for the most part, are the parties in charge of obtaining water
to be used in their households, including walking to distant sources, lo-
cating water vendors, buying water, and carrying it back home. Women
are the ones who allocate the scarce supplies of water to their different
family members and the tasks requiring it. Moreover, they are also the
ones who perform most water-related activities and household chores
such as caring for the children, cooking, cleaning, and washing clothes
(United Nations, 2019).
To summarize the topic of gender equality, it can be stated that equal
treatment is paramount for sustainable, effective, and inclusive water
38	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
governance. This means everyone must have the same opportunities to
access, manage, and use water resources and services. Women and men,
as well as other discriminated minority groups such as Black people,
Indigenous people, and people with disabilities, should have the same
capacity to influence decisions and benefit equally from water and de-
velopment programs.
Governments must ensure that the human rights to water and sanita-
tion are guaranteed for all on a non-discriminatory basis and on equal
terms. Furthermore, they are responsible for respecting, protecting, and
fulfilling these human rights. Along these lines, they must repeal dis-
criminatory laws and practices by enforcing measures for equal enjoy-
ment of rights.
One of the consequences of unequal power relations between women and
men in societies is the deeply rooted nature of gender-based violence,
reinforced by prejudices, gender stereotypes, and harmful practices that
perpetuate the idea that women are inferior to men. These situations
are made worse for women who experience intersectional discrimination
based on ethnicity, caste, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orienta-
tion, religion, and marital status, among other factors (AI, 2021).
7. 
Participation and
gender-based
violence
40	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
T
he search for equitable participation creates social and economic
opportunities that may strengthen the democratic arrangement
of the water management system and contribute to consolidating
more sustainable involvement. Directly related to women, equitable par-
ticipation in water management can also reach other vulnerable groups,
such as children, the elderly, and people with disabilities, who largely
depend on the care and assistance typically offered by women.
Globally, gender mainstreaming has increasingly been recognized as
a crucial component of sustainable water management since this gap,
coupled with the need for women’s empowerment, hinders sustainable
development goals. At all levels, from international to local, women’s con-
tribution to the development, management, and use of water resources
and the need for their involvement are paramount conditions for a gen-
der-equal society.
Women possess invaluable knowledge regarding water resources and
play a pivotal role in water and sanitation management at local and
community levels (OECD, 2021). Consequently, not only should they be
able to enjoy not only equal access to water but have an equal voice in
the management and governance of water resources compared to men.
Furthermore, as expressed in Resolution No. 70/1695
, “The human right to
safe drinking water and sanitation,” adopted by the General Assembly on
December 17, 2015, provides, among other recommendations, that States
should promote both women’s leadership and their full, effective, and
equal participation in decision-making on water and sanitation manage-
5 UN General Assembly, 2016. Resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 17, 2015. “The hu-
man right to safe drinking water and sanitation,” A/RES/70/169.
41	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
ment, and ensure that a gender-based approach is adopted in the scope
of the programs implemented.
A little over 25 years after the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action
(1995), gender equality through the realization of the basic right to wa-
ter and sanitation has progressed poorly, considering that, in practical
terms, large inequalities persist. Women remain underrepresented in
their participation in different spheres and institutional arrangements
linked to water resources development and management, government
agencies and water utilities, and local water management institutions
(UNESCO/WWAP, 2021).
It turns out that the legal instruments that constitute the legal framework
for putting into practice the rights recognized at international events
by governments do not always have provisions to enable and empower
gender integration or women’s involvement in water resources manage-
ment within river basins. More often than not, gender clauses are simply
absent or make no mention of the essential issues that concern the ful-
fillment of the commitments made by governments and the effective ex-
ercise of the human rights safeguarded in many of their constitutions for
one-half of the population, which consists of women and girls. Although
the simple insertion of the gender component in legal and regulatory in-
struments does not ensure active participation, it is necessary because it
constitutes a sociocultural and political support measure that strength-
ens the concrete action of women in the bodies, councils, or committees
in which they participate.
In this sense, the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for
Action in 1995 at the Fourth World Conference on Women was a mile-
stone for recognizing women’s rights and empowerment. The visibili-
ty the Declaration gave to issues affecting women and the strong po-
litical will demonstrated to address these issues were unprecedented.
The Declaration was a collective effort to highlight women’s right to en-
joy the highest standard of living on equal terms with men. The Beijing
Declaration and Platform for Action established a comprehensive road-
map for achieving gender equality, with expected outcomes, concrete
measures, and commitments related to critical and interrelated areas
42	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
of concern. These include topics such as women’s education and train-
ing, violence against women, women and the economy, women in power
and decision-making, institutional mechanisms for the advancement of
women, and women’s human rights (UNESCO/WWAP, 2021)
It has been 28 years since the General Assembly proclaimed the United
Nations’ historic definition in December 1993 as the Declaration on the
Elimination of Violence against Women. Back then, violence against wom-
en was defined as “any act of gender-based violence that results in or is
likely to result in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to
women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation
of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life” (UN, 1993).
Another major event on gender-based violence was held in Istanbul,
Turkey, in March 2011, with the signing of “The Council of Europe
Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and
domestic violence,” better known as the Istanbul Convention. The docu-
ment was drafted by the Council of Europe and provides legally binding
standards (which means that signatory parties are obliged to comply
with its provisions) not only to punish perpetrators but also to prevent
violence and protect victims and sets minimum standards for the gov-
ernments of Europe to prevent, protect, and suppress violence against
women and domestic violence.
The Istanbul Convention is considered the most far-reaching interna-
tional treaty specifically designed to combat violence against women.
It is globally regarded as the third regional treaty dealing with violence
against women, and the most comprehensive after the Inter-American
Convention on the Prevention, Punishment, and Eradication of Violence
against Women (Belém do Pará Convention), adopted in 1994, and the
Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the
Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) which has been in effect
since 2003 (AI, 2021).
The first regional document, sponsored by the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American
States (OAS), defines violence against women as “any act or conduct,
43	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
based on gender, which causes death or physical, sexual or psychological
harm or suffering to women, whether in the public or the private sphere.”
It further states that violence against women “occurs within the family
or domestic unit or within any other interpersonal relationship, whether
or not the perpetrator shares or has shared the same residence with the
woman, including, among others, rape, battery, and sexual abuse,” or
refers to acts “perpetrated by any person, including, among others, rape,
sexual abuse, torture, trafficking in persons, forced prostitution, kidnap-
ping and sexual harassment in the workplace, as well as in educational
institutions, health facilities or any other place;” finally, it highlights
violence “perpetrated or condoned by the state or its agents regardless
of where it occurs.”6
.
The second most relevant event is the Maputo Protocol, which dates from
July 11, 2003. It defines violence against women as “all acts perpetrated
against women which cause or could cause them physical, sexual, psy-
chological, and economic harm, including the threat to take such acts; or
to undertake the imposition of arbitrary restrictions on or deprivation of
fundamental freedoms in private or public life in peace time and during
situations of armed conflicts or of war.”7
These events and conferences helped advance legislation in many coun-
tries; the historic UN definition was debated and detailed. One of UNICEF’s
most recent definitions states that8
“Gender-based violence (GBV) is the most pervasive yet least visible hu-
man rights violation in the world. It includes physical, sexual, mental, or
economic harm inflicted on a person because of socially ascribed power
imbalances between males and females. It also includes the threat of vi-
olence, coercion, and deprivation of liberty, whether in public or private.”
6 The Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment, and Eradication of Violence against Women,
“Belém do Pará Convention.” Available at: http://www.cidh.org/basicos/portugues/m.belem.do.para.htm
7 Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo
Protocol). Available at: https://au.int/sites/default/files/treaties/37077-treaty-0027_-_protocol_to_the_african_
charter_on_human_and_peoples_rights_on_the_rights_of_women_in_africa_p.pdf
8 UNICEF – Available at: https://www.unicef.org/protection/gender-based-violence-in-emergencies
44	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
And it adds by stating that:
“In all societies, women and girls have less power than men – over their
bodies, decisions, and resources. Social norms that condone men’s use
of violence as a form of discipline and control reinforce gender inequal-
ity and perpetuate gender-based violence. Across the globe, women and
girls – especially adolescents – face the greatest risk.”
However, the fact is that violence against women has continued and,
in many cases, intensified. According to the United Nations Population
Fund, one in three women will experience physical or sexual abuse in her
lifetime. This number increases among women living in low- and mid-
dle-income areas. Moreover, in humanitarian contexts, women and girls
are even more vulnerable to violence, whereas those with disabilities are
doubly so (Devex, 2021).
As mentioned, social power relations are the root causes of structur-
al gender inequalities. Similarly, violence against women is deeply in-
grained in society, as Baptista (2022) shows when pointing out that this
type of violence is “configured by the proximity of the relationship be-
tween victim and aggressor” and, more often than not, includes the “in-
visibility” of the place where it occurs: the victim’s home or residence.
“This invisibility is a trait of violence against women, which affects the
production of data that can guide the drafting of policies to combat”
the problem. It is difficult for governments to access the places where
gender violence is perpetrated. However, “violence against women is
solidified by the morality with which it is treated; it is up to women to
decide” whether to compromise the family structure or family relations
when violence occurs. In this sense, any analysis of gender violence must
consider “the conditions of dependency created in family relationships
that prevent reports of violence occurring in the domestic environment”
(Baptista, 2022, p. 19).
Similarly, Sebaldelli, Ignotti, and Hartwig (2021) state that gender vio-
lence is a public health problem “due to the extent of its prevalence,
severity, and recurrence, as well as the negative consequences on wom-
en’s physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health.” It is a widespread
problem worldwide; its causes are multiple and include social, political,
45	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
economic, and biological factors. This is a “form of violence that occurs
in the household and has the [woman’s] intimate partner as the primary
aggressor” (Sebaldelli, Ignotti, Hartwig, 2021, p.2).
Research conducted by the Brazilian Forum on Public Safety, FBSP (2021)
in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, shows the seriousness of gender
violence in Brazil. According to the survey, one in four women aged 16 or
older claims to have suffered violence, which means that about 17 mil-
lion women were victims of physical, psychological, or sexual violence in
that period. The aggressions perpetrated in the domestic environment
accounted for 48.8% of the cases.
The data on gender violence revealed by the FBSP survey (2021) present
details of the problem, highlighting that 4.3 million women (6.3%) were
physically assaulted with slaps, punches, or kicks. In other words, every
minute, eight women were assaulted in Brazil during the first year of the
coronavirus pandemic. The most ordinary form of violence was verbal
offense (insults and swearing), experienced by about 13 million Brazilian
women (18.6%). Threats of physical violence such as slapping, pushing, or
kicking affected 5.9 million women (8.5%). 2.1 million women were threat-
ened with knives or firearms, and another 1.6 million (2.4%) were hit or
strangled. Those affected by sexual offenses or forced attempts to have
sexual relations added up to about 3.7 million Brazilian women (5.4%).
Considering the data listed in the previous paragraph and the fact that
cases of violence against women have been underreported, we can say
that Brazilians must frequently cope with such actions throughout the
year. Indeed, this was illustrated in this research, according to which
five out of 10 Brazilians (51.1%) have witnessed an episode of violence
against women in their neighborhood or community throughout 2020.
Considering the previous data showing that violence against women is
frequent in the domestic environment, we can infer that such cases are
dramatically underreported. After all, if half of the Brazilians have wit-
nessed an act of gender violence, the real number of cases must be much
higher than the survey data showed (FBSP, 2021).
46	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
A report issued by the Justiceiras Project published in March 2022 adds
to the data obtained so far with statistical data covering a longer period
of the COVID-19 pandemic and a broader and more detailed survey, with
9.5 thousand victims assisted throughout. This report shows that eight
out of 10 victims of violence against women suffered psychological abuse
during the pandemic. The women reported different forms of violence,
such as psychological (82.96%), physical (59.06%), sexual (52.48%), and
patrimonial (68.59%), all of which are most often perpetrated inside their
own homes (74.89%). Seven out of ten women have reported medium and
high severity situations committed by their current (40.41%) or previous
(37.86%) partners. Another concern is the aggressors’ access to firearms:
almost a quarter of the victims confirmed this (Projeto Justiceiras, 2022).
Gender violence is deeply rooted in society and stems from sociocul-
tural factors that perpetuate themselves from the violence practiced in
the domestic sphere, spreading throughout society and manifesting in
the most diverse sectors. Thus, this could be no different in the system
that articulates water and sanitation governance. What has increasingly
consolidated is the fight against this form of violence, which originates
from the power disparity between men and women, in all areas of society,
by seeking to gradually undermine this secular and culturally ingrained
domination. In this sense, it is important to speak out against gender
inequality and violence against women, including actions perpetrated in
water resources governance instances.
Women’s discrimination in water resources management is part of a
broader context that involves the status of women in a global society.
The search for a “democratic plurality depends on ensuring the space
for identities based on distinct beliefs and practices to flourish.” It so
happens that it is necessary to “ensure that this space is free of violence,
of systemic harassment,” as well as “the inequalities that leverage the
exercise of authority by some and the vulnerability and subordination of
others.” (Biroli, 2012, p. 46)
The difficulty in dealing with the issue of violence against women, includ-
ing that perpetrated in the scope of the management of water resources,
is how statistical data is collected; that is, it lacks robust, consistent,
47	 The profile of state water resources councils’
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sex-disaggregated, and gender-sensitive data9
since it fails to identify
to whom they refer, and to individualize men or women, thus concealing
the reality of submission of one gender before the other. We can also
highlight the scarcity of related analyses that could support the develop-
ment of basic, water-related gender knowledge. For example, as already
mentioned, collecting family-related data hides the fact that power re-
lations are asymmetric in family environments since male domination
is more strongly manifested and generally based on a tradition that has
been passed down for generations.
The use of gender-disaggregated data may partly solve this problem.
7.1.	 Sexism and its significance
to gender-based violence
It is very challenging to discuss gender violence without identifying its
root causes. In this sense, we must highlight the role played by sex-
ism in society and its impacts on the perpetuation of gender inequality.
Considering that in 2022 Brazil is going through one of its worst mo-
ments regarding the intensification of misogyny, it is important to high-
light sexism’s role in this process and how it is ingrained in society in its
various manifestations. There is an explicit form of sexism, which is also
the most fought against since it is the most evident. However, implicit
sexism is even more intense, as it is veiled and embedded in words and
acts and tends to not be questioned with the same intensity. However,
both forms convey gender prejudice and discrimination.
Sexism is prejudice or discrimination based on a person’s sex or gender.
It can lead to a wide range of harmful behaviors, from acts of violence to
subtle comments that reinforce stereotypes. All sexist manifestations
are harmful and hurt society. Leonard (2021) describes distinct types
9 Accordingly, data collection should consider the impact of policies, projects and pro-
grams on men, women, boys, and girls, so as to mitigate their negative consequences.
48	 The profile of state water resources councils’
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of sexism expressed in behaviors, speeches, writings, images, gestures,
laws and policies, practices, and traditions.
The author also refers to six basic types of sexism, namely hostile, benev-
olent, ambivalent, institutional, interpersonal, and internalized, and de-
scribes each with illustrative examples (Leonard, 2021), as shown below10
.
1 Hostile sexism: refers to openly hostile beliefs and behaviors toward
a group of people based on their sex or gender. Misogyny, or the ha-
tred of women, is an example of hostile sexism. People who hold hostile,
sexist views may see women as manipulative, deceitful, capable of using
seduction to control men, or who must be kept in their rightful place.
People engaging in hostile sexism aim at preserving men’s dominance
over women and people of other marginalized genders. They typical-
ly oppose gender equality and may also oppose the rights of LGBTQIA+
people, perceiving them as a threat to men and the systems that benefit
them. Some examples of sexism include using sexist language and in-
sults; making threatening or aggressive comments based on a person’s
gender or sex; harassing or threatening someone for challenging gen-
der norms, whether in the online or offline environments; treating peo-
ple as subordinates based on their sex or gender and punishing them
when they “step out of line”; focusing the blame of sexual assault on the
victims’ behavior or the clothes they wear; and engaging in physical or
sexual assault.
2 Benevolent sexism: Refers to views and attitudes that frame women
as innocent, pure, caring, nurturing, fragile, in need of protection,
and beautiful. Compared to hostile sexism, the benevolent form may ap-
pear less obvious. It is a more socially accepted form and is much more
likely to be endorsed by both men and women. However, this type of
sexism is not truly benevolent since although it assigns certain positive
traits to women and femininity, it still frames one sex or gender as weak-
er or inferior to the other. These ideas can lead to policies and behaviors
that limit one’s agenda or ability to make their own choices. Men who en-
dorse benevolent sexism may be more likely to support policies limiting
10 The following text lists the types of sexism and is adapted from Leonard (2021).
49	 The profile of state water resources councils’
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pregnant women’s freedom. Finally, benevolent sexism also undermines
girls’ confidence in themselves and their abilities.
Some examples of benevolent sexism include basing a woman’s value on
her role as a mother, wife, or girlfriend; focusing attention and praise on
a woman’s appearance rather than other attributes; believing that wom-
en should not do things for themselves, such as manage their money or
drive a car because of their gender; assuming that a woman is a nurse,
assistant, or secretary, instead of a doctor, executive, or manager, based
on their gender; and supporting policies that make it harder for women
to work, be independent, or deviate from traditional gender roles.
3 Ambivalent sexism is a combination of hostile and benevolent sex-
ism. Depending on the situation, people who express ambivalent
sexism can oscillate between perceiving women as good, pure, and inno-
cent or as manipulative or deceitful. Benevolent sexism offers protection
to women in exchange for them adopting a more subordinate role, while
hostile sexism targets those who deviate from this behavior.
Examples of this type include glorifying traditionally feminine behavior
and demonizing “unfeminine” ones; hiring a woman because she is at-
tractive and then firing her if she does not respond to sexual advances;
and differentiating between “decent” and “indecent” women based on
how they dress.
4 Institutional sexism: refers to sexism entrenched in organizations
and institutions, such as the government, the legal system, the
educational system, the health care system, financial institutions, the
media, and other workplaces. Institutional sexism emerges when policies,
procedures, attitudes, or laws create or reinforce sexism. Institutional
sexism is pervasive. It can be hostile, benevolent, or ambivalent. One of
the clearest indicators of this type of behavior is the lack of gender di-
versity among political leaders and business executives. Another indica-
tor is the pay gap existing between men and women. This gap is greater
for women with children and Black and Indigenous people, women, and
people with disabilities, among other minority groups.
50	 The profile of state water resources councils’
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5 Interpersonal sexism manifests in the scope of interactions with
others. It can occur in the workplace, in relationships, among family
members, and in interactions with strangers. Examples of interpersonal
sexism include telling a woman to be more elegant; judging her for not
fitting into stereotypes of femininity, such as being affectionate or sub-
missive; making inappropriate comments about her appearance; talking
to her based on assumptions about her gender and engaging in unwanted
sexual attention or touching her; and justifying sexist behavior by saying
that “boys will be boys,” as if ruling out the possibility of adopting yet
another gendered behavior.
6 Internalized sexism refers to the sexist beliefs people hold about
themselves. Usually, a person adopts these beliefs involuntarily due
to exposure to sexist behavior or other people’s opinions. Internalized
sexism can spark feelings of incompetence, doubt, powerlessness, and
shame. It also causes people to unwittingly collude with sexism. For ex-
ample, the lower rate of women working in science, technology, engi-
neering, and mathematics may be due to internalized sexism. In addition,
sexist stereotypes can affect academic performance. Since there is a
widespread belief that boys are better than girls at math and science,
this can cause a lack of confidence among the latter.
Examples of internalized sexism include making self-deprecating jokes
about one’s gender, such as those involving blond women; basing a wom-
an’s self-esteem on how desirable she is in the eyes of men; feeling
ashamed of aspects associated with being a woman, such as menstru-
ation or the female genitalia; and feeling that it is vital to conform to
gender ideals, even if this implies harming oneself, through restrictive
diets, for example.
Sexism is ingrained in society and is the very cause of gender inequality.
To combat it, it is crucial to understand it, identify how it is manifested,
and then challenge sexist attitudes and practices in all places, whatever
they may be, from government institutions to the meetings of neighbor-
hood friendships, in clubs, student councils, public policy councils, the
domestic environment, the media, that is, in all different spheres through
which social life is articulated.
8. 
The need for gender-
disaggregated data
52	 The profile of state water resources councils’
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B
esides being a human rights issue, gender inequality in water and
sanitation management also comprises the management of water
resources to make them more effective in serving a larger number
of people through the provision of quality water and service. The basis
for developing this inclusion process is the collection of better data on
existing gender inequality. The availability of such data contributes to
making the existing structural inequalities visible, so collecting it is both
a challenge and an opportunity to create and improve public policies.
Without relying on gender-stratified data, it is impossible to know the
exact extent of the marginalization of women in relation to men, which
is camouflaged by aggregated, non-individualized data.
Men and women have different priorities, uses, and needs in the water
and sanitation sector. As it has been acknowledged11
, women play a key
role in managing water resources for the benefit of their families and
society, and gender dynamics in the water and sanitation sector reflect
and reinforce the intersection between poverty, gender, and development
sustainability. In this sense, gender-sensitive and inclusive analyses are
paramount to shed light on the inequalities in access to safe drinking
water (SDG 6.1.1), sanitation, and hygiene (SDG 6.2.1), to support the mon-
itoring and evaluation of gender aspects in water resources management
(SDG 6.5.1) and the conservation of these resources, among other aspects
(Seager, 2015; UN, 2015; GWP, 2021).
In most contexts, women and men have various levels of access to and
control over water resources. The different values and priorities between
men and women in the scope of these resources lead to distinct and vital
11 International Conference on Water and the Environment, Dublin, 1992.
53	 The profile of state water resources councils’
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benefits for livelihood and ecosystems. Research shows that when col-
lecting gender-disaggregated data (GDD), the differences between men
and women become evident. Collecting disaggregated data in the water
and sanitation sector distributed by sex, age, and other factors is crucial
to better understanding how water is used, managed, and distributed.
Performing gender-based analyses allows us to identify and understand
gender issues and how to address them appropriately in planning, proj-
ects, and policies (Unesco, 2021a).
If no GDD is collected, it is impossible to fully monitor and measure prog-
ress towards the accomplishment of global water and sanitation commit-
ments, particularly those related to the Sustainable Development Goals
(SDGs). In addition, gender-disaggregated data are crucial to assess and
make the differential effects of policy measures on women and men more
visible and to assess and monitor the role of women in water and sani-
tation issues more effectively.
Data about water production and consumption are usually distributed
and organized by households. However, in most cases, the unit of anal-
ysis is the household or community, and neither distinguishes individ-
ual members. This, in turn, results in an analysis that neglects gender
differences in the scope of water and sanitation, which involve women
and men of different ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. A family is
a social unit characterized by power imbalances, and perceiving it as a
unit obscures this relationship.
To better understand the gender situation in the context of water re-
sources, it is necessary to have better information about who has a right
to water, how much work is required to access it, who does the work, who
uses and benefits from it, and the purposes for which it is used. This
requirement is commensurate with the human right to water, which is
an inalienable right of the individual and not the family (UNESCO, 2021b).
Similarly, the impact of gender inequality on water resource governance
cannot be properly assessed without disaggregated data.
GDD are data collected, tabulated, and analyzed separately according to
gender. While quantitative data track numerical changes over time, quali-
54	 The profile of state water resources councils’
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tative data may seek to assess changes related to experiences, attitudes,
or perceptions. This may involve questions about their individual roles
and responsibilities.
The goal of collecting GDD is to provide a more thorough understanding
of the human relationships in water resource management to develop
better policies and programs. As a means of addressing the imbalance
between responsibilities and power and/or rights of men and women, we
must first understand the underlying drivers and root causes of these
discrepancies and quantify them so that appropriate changes can be
made in the design, planning, monitoring, and evaluation of water and
sanitation projects or programs, as well as water resources policies and
strategies (Thuy, Miletto,  Pangare, 2019).
Gender-disaggregated data allow us to understand gender differences
and the unique needs of men and women and can also reflect variations
in culturally constructed social and gender roles and the responsibilities
and expectations typically assigned to men and women. Disaggregated
data are vital to fully understand where and how discrimination occurs in
the scope of access to the human rights to water and sanitation. Indeed,
they allow us to identify inequalities and potential discrimination and
can also reveal situations where equality is evident (Bethany et al., 2021).
Conducting these analyses separately allows one to measure the dif-
ferences between women and men from various social and economic
dimensions and is one of the requirements for obtaining gender sta-
tistics. Therefore, collecting this type of information can contribute to
reducing the gender gap related to social, economic, and environmental
vulnerabilities in any area, as well as water resources and use, which
are the focus of this study. Along these lines, information regarding the
processes of data collection, analysis, and use should be seen as an
opportunity to promote gender equality and the involvement of under-
represented groups. Evaluations can also consider intersectionalities
(age, ethnicity, class, education, sexuality, health, etc.) when analyzing
gender dimensions.
55	 The profile of state water resources councils’
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However, there is more to gender statistics than GDD. By itself, having
data aggregated by gender does not ensure that the concepts, defini-
tions, and methods used in data production will be designed to reflect
gender roles, relations, and inequalities in society (EIGE, 2021).
While abundant data on gender and water exist in different organizations
at all levels (local, regional, national, and international), the quality and
type of data are not adequate to support GDD targets in the context of
water and sanitation, often due to the use of inadequate (or incompati-
ble) units of analysis and methodologies, and interviewers who are not
gender-sensitive.
GDD is fundamental for formulating public policies that consider gender
inequality as an impediment to sustainable development, especially in
such a crucial sector for sustainability as water resources. The improve-
ment of the quality of life requires solving the problem of inequality, and
the widespread use of GDD is the path that leads to it.
9. 
Methodological
aspects
57	 The profile of state water resources councils’
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T
his descriptive research adopts quantitative and qualitative ap-
proaches, so primary and secondary data were collected. This ex-
ploratory and descriptive study sought, from an initial exploration
of the available information, to describe the characteristics of the actors
participating in water resources management. The primary sources were
obtained from research questionnaires with closed questions and spaces
for adding notes. In turn, the secondary data were collected from pub-
lications related to the state law and the functioning of the State Water
Resources Councils.
The target subjects of the research were “social actors,” who are en-
dowed with the potential to play a leading role in the process of formulat-
ing, implementing, and evaluating the actions related to water resources
management policy. At the same time, we understand that they express
their social demands by doing so.
As for the procedures required for data collection, in the first stage, we
resorted to surveying the existing state councils in the country and the
number of full and alternate members in each body. As the data were
obtained, the members were contacted by sending questionnaires elec-
tronically to the state councils’ representatives, and we reinforced the
request for participation. Responses were obtained between January
and May 2020.
According to the survey, there are 1,522 spaces for participation in state
water resources councils, considering the vacancies of full and alternate
members. Table 1 presents the information about these various spaces,
which were established between 1985 and 2006.
58	 The profile of state water resources councils’
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Table 1 – Number of members (full and alternate) in State Water Resources Councils12 13
Acre14
Alagoas
Year of creation 1997
Number of members (Bylaws) 50
Number of participants 46
Device
Established by Law No. 5.965 of November 10, 1997, and
regulated by Decrees No. 37.784/1998 and 658/2002.
Amapá
Year of creation 2002
Number of members (Bylaws) 55
Number of participants 55
Device
Decree No. 4.509 of December 29, 2009, and
Decree No. 4.544 of December 29, 2009.
Amazonas
Year of creation 2005
Number of members (Bylaws) 88
Number of participants 81
Device Created by Decree No. 25.037/2005.
12 Number of members (full and alternate), according to the committee’s bylaws.
13 Number of active members (data obtained from the list of members available on the
committee’s website and via email).
14 The State Council of Environment, Science, and Technology (CEMACT), a deliberative
and normative collegiate body that integrates the State System of Environment, Science
and Technology (SISMACT), was established by Law No. 1022 of January 21, 1992.
59	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
Bahia
Year of creation 1998
Number of members (Bylaws) 71
Number of participants 53
Device
Created by Decree No. 7.354 of September 14, 1998,
and regulated by Decree No. 12.120 of May 11, 2010.
Ceará
Year of creation 1994
Number of members (Bylaws) 48
Number of participants 47
Device Decree No. 23.039, February 1, 1994
Distrito Federal
Year of creation 2001
Number of members (Bylaws) 56
Number of participants 51
Device
Established by District Law No. 2.725 of June 13, 2001, and
regulated by District Decree No. 24.674 of June 22, 2004.
Espírito Santo
Year of creation 2000
Number of members (Bylaws) 60
Number of participants 56
Device
Created by Law No. 5.818 of December 29, 1998, and
regulated by Decree No. 1.737 of October 3, 2006.
60	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
Goiás
Year of creation 1997
Number of members (Bylaws) 35
Number of participants 35
Device
Created by Item I, Article 25, Law No. 13.123/1997. It
was extinguished following the administrative reform
of the Executive Branch in 2008 and reinstated in
2009 by Decree No. 6.999 of September 17, 2009.
Maranhão
Year of creation 2004
Number of members (Bylaws) 61
Number of participants 52
Device
Created by Law No. 8.149 of June 15, 2004, with members
appointed by State Decree No. 30.191 of July 9, 2014.
Mato Grosso
Year of creation 1997
Number of members (Bylaws) 56
Number of participants 56
Device
Established by State Law No. 11.088/2020, regulated
by Decree No. 316 of November 6, 2015, amended by
Decrees No. 597 of June 16, 2016, and No. 1.163 of
August 22, 2017, and No. 363 of February 11, 2020.
Mato Grosso do Sul
Year of creation 2004
Number of members (Bylaws) 73
Number of participants 65
Device
Regulated by Decree No. 11.621 of June 1, 2004,
and rearranged by Decrees No. 14.217 of June
17, 2015, and No. 15.079 of October 9, 2018.
61	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
Minas Gerais
Year of creation 1987
Number of members (Bylaws) 118
Number of participants 117
Device Created by Decree No. 26.961 of April 28, 1987.
Pará
Year of creation 2001
Number of members (Bylaws) 54
Number of participants 48
Device
Created by Decree No. 6.381 of September 14, 1998, and
regulated by Decree No. 1.556 of Thursday, June 9, 2016.
Paraíba
Year of creation 1996
Number of members (Bylaws) 52
Number of participants 51
Device
Article 7 of Law No. 6.308 of July 2, 1996, and the Decree No.
19.257 of October 31, 1997, gave new wording to the bylaws.
Paraná
Year of creation 1999
Number of members (Bylaws) 83
Number of participants 70
Device
Established by Decree No. 12.726 of November 26,
1999, and regulated by Decree No. 9.129/2010.
62	 The profile of state water resources councils’
representatives and women’s voice in these spaces
Pernambuco
Year of creation 1997
Number of members (Bylaws) 60
Number of participants 58
Device Established by Decree No. 11.426 of January 17, 1997.
Piauí
Year of creation 2000
Number of members (Bylaws) 42
Number of participants 38
Device
Created by Law No. 5.165 of August 17, 2000, and
regulated by Decree No. 10.880 of September 24, 2002.
Rio de Janeiro
Year of creation 2000
Number of members (Bylaws) 64
Number of participants 52
Device
Established by State Decrees No. 27.208 of October
2, 2000, No. 32.862/2003, No. 41.309/2007,
No. 44.115/2013, and No. 45.804/2016.
Rio Grande do Norte
Year of creation 1996
Number of members (Bylaws) 64
Number of participants 54
Device
Created by Law No. 6.908 of July 1, 1996, and
regulated by Decree No. 13.284/1997.
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The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces.pdf
The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces.pdf
The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces.pdf
The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces.pdf
The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces.pdf
The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces.pdf
The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces.pdf
The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces.pdf
The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces.pdf
The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces.pdf
The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces.pdf
The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces.pdf
The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces.pdf
The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces.pdf
The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces.pdf
The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces.pdf
The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces.pdf
The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces.pdf
The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces.pdf
The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces.pdf
The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces.pdf
The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces.pdf
The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces.pdf
The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces.pdf
The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces.pdf

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The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces.pdf

  • 1. The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces Fernanda Matos Reinaldo Dias Alexandre Carrieri
  • 2. Fernanda Matos Reinaldo Dias Alexandre de Pádua Carrieri The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces Belo Horizonte FACE/UFMG 2022
  • 3. 3 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces /// Fernanda Matos Resident Post-Doctoral Researcher in Administration at UFMG. /// Reinaldo Dias Ph.D. in Social Sciences and Master in Political Science from Unicamp. /// Alexandre de Pádua Carrieri Ph.D. in Administration. Full Professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais. Perfil dos Representantes dos Conselhos Estaduais e Recursos Hídricos e a voz das Mulheres /// Fernanda Matos Pesquisadora em Residência Pós-Doutoral em Administração na UFMG. /// Reinaldo Dias Doutor em Ciências Sociais e Mestre em Ciência Política pela Unicamp. /// Alexandre de Pádua Carrieri PhD em Administração. Professor Titular, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais. Ficha catalográfica M426p 2022 Matos, Fernanda. The profile of state water resources councils representatives and women's voice in these spaces / Fernanda Matos, Reinaldo Dias, Alexandre de Pádua Carrieri. - Belo Horizonte: FACE - UFMG, 2022. 117 p.: il. ISBN: 978-65-88208-29-8 Inclui bibliografia. 1. Recursos hídricos - Desenvolvimento. 2. Bacia hidrográfica. 3. Governança. 4. Participação social. 5. Relações de gênero. I. Dias, Reinaldo. II. Carrieri, Alexandre de Pádua. III. Centro de Pós-Graduação e Pesquisas em Administração. IV. Título. CDD: 333.7 Elaborado por Isabella de Brito Alves CRB6-3045 Biblioteca da FACE/UFMG - IBA /62/2022 * Agradecemos a todos que auxiliaram na realização de contatos com os membros dos organismos colegiados de gestão das águas; aos membros da diretoria e secretaria executiva, pela atualização da relação de membros, e, também, aos representantes, pelo tempodedicado a responder ao questionário de pesquisa. O presente trabalho foi realizado com apoio da Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior - Brasil (Capes) - Código de Financiamento 001 (Programa Pró-Recursos Hídricos - Chamada N° 16/2017) * We would like to thank everyone who helped us contact the members of the collegiate water resources bodies; the board members, and the executive secretariat, for updating the list of members; and also the representatives themselves, for the time they devoted to answering the research questionnaire. This work was carried out with the support of the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (“Brazilian Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education,” CAPES), within the scope of the Water Resources Program, Call No. 16/2017, Financing Code No. 001.
  • 5. 1. Introduction 6 2. The significance of water for the existence of life 11 3. The need and meaning of water security 17 4. The National Water Resources Policy in Brazil 21 5. The role of State Water Resources Councils 26 5.1. Attributions of CERH members 29 6. The gender issue in the scope of water resources management 33 7. Participation and gender-based violence 39 7.1. Sexism and its significance to gender-based violence 47 8. The need for gender-disaggregated data 51 9. Methodological aspects 56 10. Data presentation 67 10.1. Socio-economic profile of council representatives 69 10.2. Representation composition 84 10.3. Women’s participation in State Water Resources Councils 89 11. Final Remarks 104 12. References 109
  • 7. 7 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces T his study is part of the Retratos de Governanças das Águas (“Water Governance Portraits”) series, which aims to analyze the profile of river basin committees’ representatives in Brazil and provide in- formation that can point out relevant aspects of inclusive capacity in rep- resentation, while also identifying how they perceive their involvement in the decision-making process and the functioning of collegiate bodies. The project’s development stems from the notion that river basin orga- nizations can be analyzed as governance arrangements consisting of different actors responsible for mediating, articulating, approving, and monitoring actions for managing water resources under their jurisdiction. The committees are collegiate bodies with normative, propositional, con- sultative, and deliberative powers aimed at promoting planning and de- cision-making concerning the multiple uses of water resources in the scope of the river basin, that is, a region comprised of territory and var- ious water courses. These instances differ from other forms of partici- pation in other public policies because they have the legal attribution to deliberate on water management. Indeed, they do so in a shared manner with users and representatives from civil society and public authorities. The process of formulating public policies involves several actors with distinct capacities, interests, and incentives, which interact in different arenas. As such, its analysis requires adopting a systemic approach and answering certain questions, such as who are the actors participating in water policymaking processes? Accordingly, it was necessary to survey the number of collegiate bod- ies and their respective members. In Brazil, 233 river basin committees were identified, of which ten are interstate committees currently in op-
  • 8. 8 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces eration, and 223 are created state committees. However, there may be a delay before they start operating after they are created and installed. For example, the state of Goiás has 11 water resources management units, among which (a) five are running; (b) three have been created and are currently in the installation phase; and (c) three have been created but yet not established by decree (the Médio Araguaia and Médio Tocantins tributaries, etc., that wash in the state of Goiás). At the first stage of the research, 12,004 representatives were considered to define the universe, including full and alternate members, in 203 river basin committees already created and implemented. Seventeen e-books were produced with data distributed by state. In the second stage, the research data referring to the interstate com- mittees were collected through an institutional collaboration be- tween the Project Coordination (Núcleo de Estudos Organizacionais e Sociedade – NEOS, linked to the Center for Research and Graduate Studies in Business Administration – CEPEAD) of the Faculdade de Ciências Econômicas – FACE, of the Federal University of Minas Gerais – UFMG) and the Water Resources Planning Superintendency of the National Water and Sanitation Agency (SPR/ANA), in December 2019, aiming to expand the production of studies regarding the formation process and the profile of the members of the National Water Resources Management System (SINGREH). The survey identified 944 spaces for participation in inter- state committees. Nine e-books with data distributed by committee were produced (The Rio Parnaíba River Basin Committee was founded in 2018, and when the survey was conducted, it was going through the electoral process to choose members for their first terms). Based on this data, e-books (a special series) on water and gender were also produced, along with the concurrent conduction of other studies and publications1 . 1 All the studies in the Water Governance Portraits series and the publications on wa- ter and gender (which make up the series) are available on sharing platforms, including ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Fernanda-Matos/research
  • 9. 9 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces This study analyzes the data concerning the state water resources coun- cils and seeks to identify the individual actors who participate in the water policy-making processes in these councils. Additionally, it has been introduced to promote a debate on women’s participation and rep- resentation in spaces created to conduct water resource management. By acknowledging that the sustainable management of water resources and sanitation significantly benefits society and the economy as a whole, it is necessary to include men and women, in all their diversity, in the deliberations that must take place in these decision-making forums to manage a resource that is crucial to life. Numerous studies have pointed out how the lack of access to safe drink- ing water affects the lives of communities and, more intensely, of women (whether as they perform “their” roles and responsibilities associated with care or in the scope of the risks associated with personal hygiene and health, violence, or the compromising of future perspectives). Despite various global commitments (such as Agenda 2030), inequalities have persisted between men and women, particularly regarding access to work opportunities and equal pay, decision-making, and access to and control over land and financial resources. Gender issues lie at the heart of the provision, management, and conservation of the world’s water resources, in addition to safeguarding public health and human digni- ty through the provision of adequate sanitation and hygiene services. Therefore, the gender perspective must be integrated into national and global water and sanitation planning and monitoring processes. Although there have been efforts to reduce gender inequality, yet another problem persists concerning the amount of inadequate information that fails to provide details about women’s participation in the various water resources processes. What happens is that women’s specific problems and needs are not adequately addressed. One of the primary reasons for this is the lack of gender-disaggregated data (GDD). In this context, this study undertakes efforts to integrate a gender ap- proach into state water resources councils (CERH) while relying on gen- der-disaggregated data. Furthermore, in the questions introduced to state council representatives, we tried to collect data that would indi-
  • 10. 10 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces cate the occurrence of situations that could be characterized as gen- der violence. A prominent issue addressed in this study and the project mentioned above was the gap observed between the formal recognition of gender issues in water and sanitation policies and projects and the lack of real efforts to effectively address gender differences and inequalities in the water and sanitation sector. In professions associated with water resources management, gender issues have continued to be addressed as a secondary issue or an af- terthought. They are typically not considered a component of the pro- fessional cores, whether in technological fields such as engineering or applied social sciences such as administration. As such, a relevant element of this study was to substantiate and explain this gap to identify ways to improve gender integration in water man- agement in the future. This study begins by highlighting the importance of water and how it has increasingly become a strategic resource (sections 2 and 3). Next, we detail the National Water Resources Policy to situate the state councils and their role in the National Water Resources System (sections 4 and 5). The following sections (6, 7, and 8) constitute the core of the research and support the analysis of the data collected for the purposes of this study. Sections 9 and 10 address the methodological aspects, and the penultimate section (section 10) presents a list of gender-disaggregated data, which are analyzed and whose respective conclusions are exposed in the concluding section (11), which deals with the study’s findings.
  • 11. 2.  The significance of water for the existence of life
  • 12. 12 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces T he importance of water for sustaining life is indisputable, as it is vital to human health and social well-being and affects all as- pects of society, from households to agriculture, industry, and the environment. Moreover, it is one of the determinants of sustainable development (Kholif Elfarouk, 2014). Water is required in all sectors of society to produce food, energy, goods, and services. There is an over- riding realization related to the benefits and utilities that water offers: without water, there can be no life. Also, to sustain life and enjoy all its benefits, we must achieve environmental conservation and preservation, particularly water. The utilities of water are countless, as it is used for consumption, grow- ing, and producing food and energy, transportation, as a political and cultural symbol, as well as to offer spaces for entertainment, recreation, or tourism. However, for these benefits to be realized, interventions of various kinds are necessary because water resources do not always obey the limits imposed by human-made political structures. When this is not done, nature imposes itself, and water shows itself in all its immensi- ty, breaking the natural limits, spreading, modifying the landscape, and causing losses and damages (both social and economic), which are man- ifested in floods, torrents, and overflowing rivers, destroying things in its path, especially in areas occupied by low-income communities. In its natural cycle, water alternates between liquid and vapor states, and when it flows back into the ground, it provides an important en- vironmental function in the form of fresh water, which becomes purer as it goes through evaporation and liquefaction processes, which work as natural filters. However, it turns out that human-made polluting pro- cesses compromise and reduce the quality of renewed fresh water. In
  • 13. 13 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces addition, contamination by acid rain, the excess or type of pollutant load discharged into waterways, such as hormones and pesticides, often re- quires complex and expensive treatments that are not always available, either because of their high cost or because they involve cutting-edge technologies that require highly specialized labor and increasingly com- plex equipment. Thus, pollution jeopardizes the health and lives of those using those waters (Senra, 2021). As for the benefits of the precious liquid, the problem is that not every- one has broad access to this fundamental resource. An estimated four billion people live in regions characterized by water shortages that occur at least once a month yearly (Mekonnen Hoekstra, 2016). This number, which is already significant (since the world population reached an es- timated 7.9 billion people in 2021), is likely to become more significant in the near future if nothing is done. After all, the population is expect- ed to reach 8.5 billion people in 2020, the same year the Sustainable Development Goals are expected to be achieved (UNDESA, 2021). The seriousness of the water scenario on the planet can be expressed in figures that show that humanity may be on the brink of disaster. Billions of people worldwide still live without safely managed drinking water, san- itation, and hygiene services. If unsustainable water consumption and management patterns remain, by 2050, at least one in four people (2.8 billion) will likely live in a country that is affected by severe water scar- city (OECD, 2021). Today, half of the world’s largest cities already face water scarcity (WEF, 2027), and more than 2 billion people have limited access to water resources. Brazil is home to about 12% of the world’s freshwater (ANA, 2019b). Considering that 3% of the global population lives in the country, one would not expect water to be a severe problem. It turns out that availabil- ity varies, both geographically and seasonally. As Cardoso (2008) points out, there are problems in managing water resources throughout the country, which vary in severity due to several factors that have not been adequately addressed due to the lack of efficient management. Among the most significant problems is the difficulty in expanding supply in regions with low river basin availability and improving quality by reduc-
  • 14. 14 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces ing domestic and industrial pollution. In addition, we can mention runoff pollution from agriculture as well, in the form of pesticides, herbicides, and nutrients. According to ANA, regarding availability, Brazil has a large water supply in global terms. Indeed, “about 260,000 m3/s” of water flow in the Brazilian territory on average, meaning that the country has the world’s largest drinking water reserve, accounting for about 12% of the world’s total. However, this does not exclude the country’s possibility of lacking this resource, given the growing demand and pollution (ANA, 2015). Of this total, “205,000 are in the Amazon River basin, leaving for the rest of the territory an average flow of 55,000 m3/s” (ANA, 2015, p. 25). According to ANA (2017), dry spells, droughts, and floods account for about 84% of the natural disasters in Brazil from 1991 to 2012. During that peri- od, almost 39,000 natural disasters affected around 127 million people. 47.5% (2,641) of Brazilian municipalities declared a state of emergency or state of public calamity due to floods at least once from 2003 to 2016. About 55% (1,435) of these municipalities are located in Brazil’s south and southeast regions. As for dry spells or droughts, about 50% (2,783) of Brazilian municipalities declared an emergency or state of public ca- lamity in the same period. The disparities affecting sustainable water resource management could be aggravated by extreme weather events and changes in rainfall pat- terns as a result of climate change and inappropriate water-intensive behaviors such as excessive freshwater withdrawals, increasing urban- ization rates, and economic development (Mekonnen Hoekstra, 2016; Rockstrom et al., 2014). Currently, climate change due to increased global warming is al- ready a complicating factor for water resource management, and this is likely to worsen in the coming years. The reports published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change show that the water cycle is directly linked to climate. Furthermore, several studies (IPCC, 2013, 2014, UNESCO, 2020) have shown how climate change modifies the historical behavior of rainfall and reduces water quantity and quality, which, in
  • 15. 15 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces turn, can jeopardize the supply of this resource and contribute to ex- panding conflicts over its use. Due to the prospect of an increasing water crisis, the availability of wa- ter resources in sufficient quantity and quality has become an object of social concern in recent years. Consequently, the need to manage water as a resource has increased so that users have access to it in the right amount, with the right quality, and available at the right time (Huitema Meijerink (2007). Many factors may hinder access to clean water, whether geographic, eco- nomic, or social (Mehta Movik, 2014), and they interfere with the sus- tainable management of water resources. These factors include popula- tion growth, inefficient use, climate change, degradation of river basins and watercourses, unsustainable approaches to addressing water supply shortages, increasing urbanization, dry spells, and institutional and or- ganizational inadequacies. As a result, these factors result in a potential decrease in the availability of fresh water and its impending scarcity as a source for sustaining life. The management of water resources necessarily involves paying special attention to the use of water in rural areas since it concentrates the most intensive collection (72% of all harvestings), followed by 16% in towns and cities for residential and services use, and 12% to be used by the industrial sector (UN-Water, 2021). Population growth and the improvement in the quality of life of a share of the global population resulting from the rise of the middle classes exert high pressure on natural areas. Indeed, this pressure has accel- erated the degradation of wetlands as these are frequently considered a hindrance to urban expansion and therefore landfilled to expand the physical land space for real estate occupation. This, in turn, increases the level of contamination of the remaining wetland areas. This is an old phenomenon, as it is estimated that over 85% of wetlands have been lost since the pre-industrial era (IPBES, 2019). There is a close relationship between population increase, urbanization, and wetland losses.
  • 16. 16 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces The world population will continue to grow along with water demand, making it an increasingly strategic resource. As a result, its control will become an instrument of power, a key to economic development, and a factor that will trigger numerous social and political problems. Water is a finite, freely accessible, multi-purpose resource that is becom- ing scarce. As such, conflicts at all levels (local, regional, national, and international) have been provoked over the use and preservation of the world’s dwindling water supplies. Yet, there is growing recognition that improving water management has become increasingly imperative for achieving sustainable development, alleviating poverty, and preserving biodiversity. Water scarcity arises when water is insufficient to simultaneously sup- port human and ecosystem water needs (White, 2014). Most often, this arises due to a basic lack of water. However, it can also stem from in- adequate infrastructure to provide access to what might otherwise be considered ample available water resources. The concept of scarcity also encompasses water quality, as degraded water resources are rendered unavailable or, at best, marginally available for use in human and nat- ural systems. Increasing water scarcity is one of the greatest global challenges in the contemporary world. As local demand for water increases above supply in many regions, effective governance of available water resources will be key to achieving water security, fairly allocating water resources, and resolving related disputes (UNDP-SIWI, 2016).
  • 17. 3.  The need and meaning of water security
  • 18. 18 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces A ccording to the Global Water Partnership, GWP (2012), water se- curity means that “every person has access to enough safe water at an affordable cost to lead a clean, healthy and productive life while ensuring that the natural environment is protected and enhanced.” In the scope of water security, the term “acceptable level of risk” implies three aspects to be considered. The first aspect is that too much water also causes deaths, with the occurrence of floods, landslides, contami- nation, and disease, for example. The second point is that there is a vari- ation in the consumption rate per citizen in different countries, within the same country, and between social classes. Finally, the third aspect to consider is that the perception of “level” depends on who decides and who is impacted by the outcome of the decision (GWP, 2012). Thus, the minimum amount for those who need it depends on various social, economic, and cultural factors. Starting in the 1980s, in developing countries, the governance arrange- ments for river basin management were proposed, aiming, among other purposes, to ensure access to water and establish standards to protect the quality of territorial waters and achieve water security. In this respect, water security results from good water governance and can increase access to water and sanitation and foster the preservation of the quantity and quality conditions of water resources. In general, it aims to reduce absolute poverty, improve the population’s health, and maintain and conserve natural resources. First, however, it is necessary to adopt policies and strategies that promote better management and use of water resources through participation and inter-relations between the different actors and user sectors, including the environment itself.
  • 19. 19 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces Therefore, we emphasize that the participation of all the actors from all sectors of society constitutes a crucial element for promoting water management equity. Another point to be considered is that transparen- cy and institutional development are paramount to enable and facilitate participation to achieve effective governance and superior opportunities in the face of climate variability and its associated impacts. That is an element of contention, and the problems related to governance and management of water resources could result in strong impasses con- cerning the availability of water and food and the potential social and political conflicts arising in this scenario. Therefore, it is important to look into the problem of water security from a governance perspective, that is, to consider the urgency of the water issue and other related aspects such as food, energy, the right to water, gender, and social par- ticipation. This perspective aligns with the United Nations Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially concerning water resources (SDG 6). This goal aims to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, and to imple- ment, by 2030, integrated water resources management at all levels, in- cluding transboundary cooperation, as appropriate. In this study, the approach to governance focuses on the role played by society in river basin arrangements. According to the National Water Agency (ANA), by the year 2030, the de- mand for water in Brazil is expected to increase by approximately 200%. Therefore, the ANA and the Ministry of Regional Development designed the National Water Security Plan (PNSH) to tackle water crises and floods in 2019. The plan aims to keep the water system balanced throughout the country, avoiding droughts and floods by adopting measures to be implemented by 2035. The measures were divided into three categories: studies and projects, constructions, and institutional measures. Each Brazilian region has specific projects according to its needs and char- acteristics. An example is stricter dam construction inspection to avoid socio-environmental accidents (ANA, 2019). In 2021, the ANA published the second edition of the Atlas Águas – Segurança Hídrica do Abastecimento Urbanos. This extensive study incorporated con-
  • 20. 20 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces cepts and tools from the PNSH, enhancing the notion of water security specifically targeted at water supply in Brazilian cities. The Atlas evalu- ates all springs and urban water supply systems and recommends solu- tions for current and future demands of the 5,570 Brazilian cities by 2035. Moreover, it indicates what investments will be necessary (about BRL 110 billion by 2035) for 100% of the urban population of these municipalities to be served according to the precepts of water security, from the spring to the tap (ANA, 2021). According to the ANA study (2021), the country is in the midst of a water crisis, with its primary reservoirs for supply and energy production oper- ating in critical condition. In this scenario, the Federal Government and the state and municipal governments need to join forces and invest in safeguarding the country’s entire supply cycle, which also includes pre- serving water sources. The BRL 7.3 billion in annual investments required until 2035 will be necessary to pull the country out of water shortage cycles that have become increasingly severe and recurrent. The study reveals the high vulnerability of water sources in Brazilian cities since about 44% of them may dry up or be affected by floods and climate change. Around 5.8 million Brazilians face challenges in their everyday lives due to the high vulnerability of the country’s water re- sources. Another problem pointed out by the study is waste. The Atlas shows that 22% of Brazilian cities use water resources inefficiently; 13% need to reduce leakage; 19% have the potential to make significant im- provements, and 46% need to conduct assessments to confirm the ef- fectiveness of their improvements. The problem of water governance arises from the acknowledgment that no municipality in the country has achieved the maximum degree of efficiency in managing water resources (ANA, 2021).
  • 22. 22 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces T he National Water Resources Policy (Política Nacional de Recursos Hídricos, PNRH) was created following the enactment of Law No. 9.433/97 on January 8, 1997. Also known as the Water Law, the PNRH was established to ensure water availability in quality standards appropriate to its respective uses by seeking prevention and sustainable development through the rational and integrated use of water resources. Some of its principles include (i) the recognition of water as a public do- main asset, aiming to ensure that current and future generations have water availability in quality standards appropriate to their respective uses; (ii) the recognition of water as a finite and vulnerable resource, endowed with economic value, requiring a rational and integrated use of water resources with a view to sustainable development; (iii) the adop- tion of the river basin as a planning unit, aiming at adapting the man- agement of water resources to the physical, biotic, demographic, eco- nomic, social and cultural diversity of each region; and (iv) the adoption of decentralized and participative management to articulate the water resources planning together with that of the user sectors, in addition to the regional, state and federal spheres (BRASIL, 1997). The principles on which the Water Law was based were established by con- sensus and international debate, especially in the International Conference on Water and the Environment held in Dublin in 1992 and the declaration of principles published in the event’s report (see Dublin principles, 1992). By recognizing the river basin as a planning and management unit, the legislation established a participatory policy, endowed with a deci- sion-making process that involves different economic and social agents linked to water use, in a context that includes a new view regarding the powers of the State and the users (Cardoso, 2008). One can also say
  • 23. 23 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces that the adoption of river basins as management units is supported by Bertalanffy’s systems concept2 , by acknowledging the areas as inter- acting and interdependent parts; that is, the changes taking place in a given region of the watershed can affect other regions as well, given the interconnection of water flows, which form a complex or unitary whole. Also in line with Principle No. 2 of the Dublin Declaration is the adoption of decentralized and participatory management in the legislation incorporated the vision of New Public Management (NPM) and the movement to reduce and restructure the State apparatus, also associated with the public gover- nance movement. It is also worth noting that Principle No. 3 of the Dublin Statement, which deals with the crucial role of women in water management and safeguarding, has not been included in Brazilian legislation or policy. PNRH was based on systems in which the federal or state public powers share their competence with non-governmental entities (users and civil associations) and collegiate bodies (river basin committees and water resources councils). These competencies refer to decisions pertaining mainly to planning the use of water resources in river basins. Article 4 of the law mentioned above determines that the Federal Government and the states must articulate to implement the National Water Resources Management System. This means that the Federal Government – through the National Water Agency – and the state author- ities must act in a harmonious, complementary fashion through a unified system specific to each river basin, aiming at granting, supervising, and charging for the use of water resources. The states, as well as the Federal District, are responsible for the management of the waters under their control and, therefore, must elaborate specific legislation for the area, organize the State Water Resources Council (established to meet the need for integration of the public agencies, the productive sector, and the civil society, aiming at ensuring the control of the water and its use in quantity and quality, required for its multiple uses), and guarantee the functioning of the basin committees in their region; that is, the forums in which a 2 Karl Ludwig von Bertalanffy, founder of the general systems theory (also known by its acronym, GST)
  • 24. 24 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces group of people meets to discuss a common interest, in this case, the use of water in the basin in question. The executive branches of the Federal District and the municipalities are responsible for integrating local poli- cies for basic sanitation, land use, occupation and conservation, and the environment with federal and state water resource policies (BRASIL, 1997). The Water Law has not assigned specific powers to municipalities; it has merely established its role in integrating local policies. However, munici- palities play a pivotal role in managing water resources by implementing and regulating policies for basic sanitation, land use, occupation, and conservation, as well as the environment. Therefore, even though water- courses are units under federal or state control, the municipalities are key players in preserving water resources within their borders. We must remember that the municipalities, according to the common administra- tive competence reserved to them by the Federal Government, the states, and the Federal District, must operate as a form of water police, as estab- lished in Article 23 of the Constitution, and, therefore, must “protect the environment and to fight pollution in any of its forms” (Section VI) and “register, monitor and control the concessions of rights to research and exploit hydric and mineral resources within their territories” (Section XI). The analysis of water resources management reveals that the Constitution recognizes water as a public asset and divides the respon- sibilities for this specific resource between the Federal Government and the states. However, unlike other policies, in which the role of the munic- ipality is preponderant, cities have their power reduced in the scope of water management, considering that no waters are controlled by munici- palities. Therefore, the cities have no attributions on water management other than participating in river basin committees, as well as integrating environmental policies at the local level. Therefore, we can consider the existence of the fourth level of decentralization of administration in the scope of water resources management since the territorial division of river basins does not coincide with the municipal and/or state adminis- trative divisions. There is almost always more than one water domain to be considered in management, which imposes the need for negotiation and institutional articulation to overcome the obstacles imposed by the legal norms providing for each river basin’s watercourses (ANA, 2007).
  • 25. 25 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces The National Water Resources Management System (Sistema Nacional de Gerenciamento de Recursos Hídricos, SINGREH) is an ensemble of col- legiate bodies in charge of formulating and implementing the National Water Policy. The National Council of Water Resources, the state water resources councils, and the river basin committees (at state and federal levels) are part of SINGREH and aim to deliberate and formulate water re- sources policies. Finally, SINGREH also comprises the federal, state, and municipal government agencies, whose attributions concern the manage- ment of water resources, the water agencies, which operate as executive secretaries, and the organizations. The highest body in the SINGREH is the National Council of Water Resources (Conselho Nacional de Recursos Hídricos, CNRH), which is structured as a collegiate, consultative, deliberative (makes decisions), and normative body (establishes norms) and is a part of the Regimental Structure of the Ministry of Regional Development. The CNRH is the agency that defines the National Water Resources Policy and the general rules for water man- agement. The CNRH’s attributions include analyzing proposals for chang- ing water resources legislation, establishing complementary guidelines for implementing the National Water Resources Policy, and promoting the articulation of water resources planning with the national, regional, state, and user sectors plannings. Furthermore, they must arbitrate conflicts over water resources, discuss projects concerning the use of these re- sources whose repercussions go beyond the scope of the states where they will be implemented, approve proposals for the creation of river basin committees, establish general criteria for granting rights to use water resources and charging for their use, and approving the National Water Resources Plan and following up its execution. Furthermore, the CNRH operates as a forum for debate, acting as a space for conflict mediation, negotiation, and social agreement, and as a mediator between the various water users in the country. Its operation was estab- lished by Federal Decree No. 10,000 of September 3, 2019, which provides for its composition, establishes six new technical chambers, and deliberates over competencies, structure, and other Council mechanisms (PCJ, 2019).
  • 26. 5.  The role of State Water Resources Councils
  • 27. 27 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces P ublic policy councils are public spaces linked to the Executive Branch. Fundamentally, they fall within the scope of democratic governance. They are institutionalized channels of participation, characterized by marking the “reconfiguration of the relations between State and society” and instituting “a new modality of public control over governmental action and, ideally, of co-responsibility regarding the de- sign, monitoring, and evaluation of policies.” The councils constitute “public” (non-governmental) spaces that signal the possibility of repre- sentation of collective interests in the political scenario and the defini- tion of the public agenda,” composing a space of intermediary articula- tion since they are simultaneously part of the state and society as well (Carneiro, 2006, p.149, 151). The State Water Resource Councils (CERH) are also central deliberative, advisory, and propositional bodies of the state systems. Their attribu- tions include establishing the principles and guidelines of the state water resources policy of their respective state to be observed by the state plan and the river basin master plans; approving the state plan proposal; deciding conflicts between committees and acting as an appellate court in the decisions made in the scope of the river basin committees. Similarly to what is established at the federal level, the CERHs, as the cen- tral deliberative and normative body of the state water resources system, are responsible for implementing the State Water Resources Policy and planning, regulating, and controlling the use, preservation, and recovery of the state water resources and aquatic ecosystems, among other at- tributions. Therefore, they define priorities in the states’ political agen- da regarding the uses of water for the various purposes for which it is intended. In this context, each council enjoys autonomy in its state to
  • 28. 28 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces define its priorities. Although similar in general terms, the attributions of each state council are very much linked to the specific characteristics of each region. In general, the state councils are responsible for3 a. outlining the principles and guidelines of the State Water Resources Policy to be observed by the State Water Resources Plan and to fol- low up the elaboration and approve the State Water Resources Plan and its execution, as well as determine the necessary measures to fulfill its goals; b. approving the planning of the annual and multi-annual programs and projects for the application of public resources in the scope of activities related to the state water resources; c. deciding any conflicts between the SIGRH’s component agencies and between users as a last resort; d. approving the application plan for the resources of the State Fund for Water Resources and their accountability; e. establishing norms and approving the creation of river basin com- mittees and reservoir management councils; f. qualifying the civil organizations under the Law for participating in the management of state water resources; g. creating technical chambers and workgroups to discuss and forward actions on themes of interest to the CRH; h. approving the values to be charged for the right to use water; i. deliberating over projects for the use of water resources that go beyond the scope of the river basin committee; j. defining the criteria and general rules for granting the right to use water resources; 3 These core competencies were established based on an analysis of the competencies of the state councils of Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso, Santa Catarina, and Pernambuco.
  • 29. 29 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces k. recognizing the inter-municipal river basin consortiums or associ- ations or the regional, local, or multi-sector associations of water resources users; l. proposing norms for the use, preservation, and recovery of water resources; m. approving the creation of Water Agencies. The creation of the state councils provided for establishing river basin committees (CBH), which operate as a permanent normative and deliber- ative collegiate. In the committees, representatives of the various seg- ments of society belonging to the basin in question meet to discuss prob- lems and their solutions concerning the various uses of water resources and define actions to preserve them. When the CBHs were constituted, the goal was to propose a modality of public management collegiate, ad- vocating for the priority of the collective interests over private ones and establishing a participation channel for exercising civic consciousness. Therefore, the CBHs reduce the risks of public interests being distorted by momentary interests by guiding public policies (LOPES NEVES, 2017). 5.1. Attributions of CERH members The council members play the role of representatives of the interests of the segment to which they are linked. The representatives of the entities or organizations comprised by the CERH have numerous attributions that, if well understood in their importance, assign greater relevance to the role played by the council members, as they exercise a public function in which their responsibility for the council’s acts is explicit. The numerous duties of the council members encompass a range of re- sponsibilities that allows the council to expand its activities and enables each member to effectively perform a function that will serve as “train- ing” for the exercise of leadership in other spaces, either public or other- wise. The way it functions is similar to a city council, for example. Along these lines, the CERH constitute spaces that not only echo the problems
  • 30. 30 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces and discussions concerning water resources in societies but also form an important locus for the formation of leaders who learn how to voice their views in meetings and assemblies to the most diverse actors; or, in other words, they come to understand “how to do politics,” in the sense of articulating diverse interests to achieve a specific result. In summary, the main attributions of the CERH members are4 : a. any council member may formulate propositions in writing to the ex- ecutive secretariat in the form of proposals for resolutions, amend- ments, requests, or motions; b. after the matter is reported, each council member may speak for five minutes, according to the order of registration. The same time shall also be granted for the defense of any proposition or clarification by the rapporteur or proponent. The speaker will only be interrupted if he or she consents to it; parallel interruptions are not permitted; c. any council member may request that the process be reviewed, as long as they give reasons for doing so, either during the discussion or voting. If that is decided by a simple majority of the plenary, the postponement of the matter will be scheduled for the next meeting; d. any council member may raise questions intended to preserve the order of the meeting proceedings by indicating the procedural provi- sion on which they are based and shall be decided by the chairman; e. the chairman shall put matters to a vote after discussion. All council members present in the plenary session shall be entitled to vote; in case of a tie, the chairman shall have the casting vote. The matter that obtains a simple majority of the board members’ votes will be considered approved; f. act cooperatively so that the CERH’s objectives are achieved; g. appoint representatives from agencies or entities to participate in the proceedings; 4 These attributions form a compilation obtained from the internal regulations of several Brazilian states, includ- ing Amazonas, Pernambuco, Minas Gerais, São Paulo, Paraná, Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul, and Mato Grosso.
  • 31. 31 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces h. disseminate and implement the measures, plans, and programs ap- proved by the CERH within the scope of its bodies or the entities it represents; i. propose matters for the agenda and consideration by the plenary; j. request the review of any matter presented to the plenary session, or remove matters of their authorship from the agenda; k. request information, measures, and clarifications from the chairman and the executive secretary; l. prepare and present reports and opinions within pre-established deadlines; m. participate in the thematic chambers and workgroups with the right to speak and, when a member, to vote; n. propose matters for deliberation by the plenary, in the form of a resolution proposal or motion; o. propose points of order in plenary meetings; p. When both the full and the alternate members are present, the al- ternate will only have the right to speak; q. propose the creation of a temporary or permanent techni- cal chamber; r. request the executive secretary to include in the minute their dis- senting point of view, explanation of vote, or other observation deemed pertinent; s. propose the invitation of people with notorious knowledge, person- alities, and specialists, depending on the matters on the agenda, to support the council’s related subjects; t. provide clarifications about actions, propositions, and decisions of the entities they represent. We can also add the need to keep informed and up to date on the specif- ic matters of the area and deliberations; collaborate for the deepening of the discussions and assist the collegiate decisions; disseminate the discussions and decisions of the council in the institutions it represents
  • 32. 32 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces and in other spaces; seek to expose contributions from their respective segments, which can strengthen the management of water resources in the state; maintain an alignment with their alternates to exchange information, in addition to principles of ethical conduct, such as loyalty to the public interest, decorum in the exercise of their functions, effi- ciency, transparency, impersonality; and keeping up to date about the phenomenon of social exclusion, its structural and national causes, so as to contribute to the construction of civic consciousness and the fight against poverty.
  • 33. 6.  The gender issue in the scope of water resources management
  • 34. 34 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces I n developing countries, meeting basic water supply and sanitation needs is the most pressing water security issue (Ritchie Roser, 2019). As water becomes increasingly scarce, governments that fail to enforce water resource management improvements will allow market forces to privatize water, which occurs when private companies take own- ership of water production and distribution. Water prices often skyrocket when water is privatized, even if the service is poor; this, in turn, causes problems for impoverished families who must use substantial portions of their income to afford a basic right. Women are the first to suffer from the negative impacts of water privatization because, as managers of their families, they are often forced to buy water and forgo other produc- tive activities, such as farming subsistence crops that require irrigation (UNWATER/WHO, 2015). However, traditional approaches to water management are highly seg- regated and focus on technical improvements and sectoral solutions without devoting sufficient attention to its social aspects and basic sustainability goals. Traditional approaches related to water resources engineering excel in a masculinized discourse that emphasizes “build, command, and control.” This is employed by technical, economic, and political elites, as well as other sectors of society such as politics and business, leaving out voices that are already marginalized and invisible, such as women, the poor, ethnic groups, and racial minorities (Earle Bazilli, 2013) Many specific groups are discriminated against in the area of access to water and sanitation due to their social or personal status according to factors such as gender identity, race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, birth, caste, language, disability, age, and health status. Among the in-
  • 35. 35 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces equalities, the one that stands out as an element that marginalizes half of all human societies is the one between men and women, which is pres- ent across the world. This inequality is accentuated not only by the fact that one is a woman but is even more intensified among individuals who present multiple discriminated identities, such as Black women, disabled women, women belonging to different ethnic groups, etc. Gender is linked to social constructions rather than natural character- istics like biological sex. They refer to the roles, responsibilities, rights, relationships, and identities of women and men, which are outlined or at- tributed to them in the scope of a given society or context, as well as how these roles, responsibilities, rights, and identities impact and influence one another. Therefore, gender refers to the set of qualities and behav- iors expected of women and men, and since it is socially constructed, it differs among different cultures. Gender relations are constructed by a number of institutions, such as do- mestic, political, and legal systems, religious authorities, and the market- place. What they have in common is that they all tend to create disadvan- tages for women. For example, when gender expectations intersect with poverty, ethnicity, background, age, disabilities, and sexual orientation, the result is complex and multifaceted, creating barriers to a dignified, equal, and safe life for all women and girls. These barriers determine who has access to and control over services, goods, and resources and who benefits from their use (UNDP/SIWI, 2016). Inequality between men and women has not been camouflaged or con- cealed throughout history; it has always been assumed as a consequence of the distinct nature of the two sexes, necessary for the survival and progress of the human species. The change begins to occur from the de- velopment of feminist thinking, which denounces the situation of women as an effect of patterns of oppression and moves toward “a broad critique of the social world, which reproduces asymmetries and prevents the au- tonomous action of many of its members” (Miguel Biroli, 2014, p. 17). Importantly, “the category ‘woman’ has been constructed amid relations distinguished by patriarchy and male domination.” Thus, what is accept-
  • 36. 36 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces ed as femininity is not the expression of nature, but the result of the work of social pressures, constraints, and expectations (Miguel, 2014, p. 79), as explained by Simone de Beauvoir in The Second Sex. The fact is that economic, political, and social inequalities also involve access to drinking water and in this process of marginalization, peo- ple and groups disproportionately suffer the economic, health, and wa- ter-seeking impacts, which, in turn, intensifies social inequalities. In this case, power relations, financial status, and social positions impact women and girls more intensely through lack of clean water, sanitation, and hygiene services, and therefore impact their dignity. Understanding these peculiar vulnerabilities is as relevant as revealing the gender di- mensions of access to water since both lead to situations of water inse- curity and an increased need to achieve more equitable access to this resource (UNWATER/WHO, 2015). Therefore, equality refers to equal and fair rights between men and women regarding access to society’s re- sources while acknowledging their unique needs. This may include equal or differential treatment, which is seen as equivalent in terms of rights, benefits, obligations, and opportunities. Furthermore, regarding devel- opment, gender equality often requires incorporating affirmative actions to compensate for the historical and social disadvantages women have been subjected to. In the scope of this social reorientation, more recent studies have ac- knowledged that a gender approach is crucial to developing effective, efficient, and sustainable systems and strategies. In line with recom- mendations of various international conferences, statements, agendas, and commitments, there seems to be a consensus around the fact that women should participate more intensively in water resources manage- ment, which would make management more efficient, user-focused, fi- nancially viable, and environmentally sustainable (OECD, 2021). In addi- tion, research by the United Nations In the water sector, it is often the case that decisions are mostly taken and implemented by men. This results in management decisions that are likely to be incomplete since valuable information is missing from at least half of the population, which is made up of women. Experience has
  • 37. 37 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces shown that the efficiency and sustainability of water projects are boost- ed when women and men are involved in decision-making, supervision, and water supply. In addition, women and minorities possess differenti- ated knowledge, vital for sustainable resource management, and unique perspectives on responsibilities, priorities, and needs around water use and management (UNDP/SIWI, 2016). Indeed, the most important underused development resources we have are human resources. For example, suppose half of the world’s population is prevented from developing their mental, physical, and social capabili- ties. In that case, this will severely restrict our potential for sustainable development so we can effectively manage our dwindling water supplies. The emphasis on gender mainstreaming in the water sector reflects the recognition that the interests and needs of women and men must be systematically pursued within the implementation of national and regional policies. In other words, attention to gender issues cannot be confined to a specific sector, such as a women’s department or sector, or addressed in isolated or marginal programs within the water sector (OECD/DAC, 1998). An increasingly emphatic consensus has been created that any solu- tion to global water scarcity must include the gender dimension in the management and consumption of water resources (UNESCO, 2018). In the domestic environment, women take responsibility for the acquisition, allocation, and use of water in many cultures. In rural settings, women and girls, for the most part, are the parties in charge of obtaining water to be used in their households, including walking to distant sources, lo- cating water vendors, buying water, and carrying it back home. Women are the ones who allocate the scarce supplies of water to their different family members and the tasks requiring it. Moreover, they are also the ones who perform most water-related activities and household chores such as caring for the children, cooking, cleaning, and washing clothes (United Nations, 2019). To summarize the topic of gender equality, it can be stated that equal treatment is paramount for sustainable, effective, and inclusive water
  • 38. 38 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces governance. This means everyone must have the same opportunities to access, manage, and use water resources and services. Women and men, as well as other discriminated minority groups such as Black people, Indigenous people, and people with disabilities, should have the same capacity to influence decisions and benefit equally from water and de- velopment programs. Governments must ensure that the human rights to water and sanita- tion are guaranteed for all on a non-discriminatory basis and on equal terms. Furthermore, they are responsible for respecting, protecting, and fulfilling these human rights. Along these lines, they must repeal dis- criminatory laws and practices by enforcing measures for equal enjoy- ment of rights. One of the consequences of unequal power relations between women and men in societies is the deeply rooted nature of gender-based violence, reinforced by prejudices, gender stereotypes, and harmful practices that perpetuate the idea that women are inferior to men. These situations are made worse for women who experience intersectional discrimination based on ethnicity, caste, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orienta- tion, religion, and marital status, among other factors (AI, 2021).
  • 40. 40 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces T he search for equitable participation creates social and economic opportunities that may strengthen the democratic arrangement of the water management system and contribute to consolidating more sustainable involvement. Directly related to women, equitable par- ticipation in water management can also reach other vulnerable groups, such as children, the elderly, and people with disabilities, who largely depend on the care and assistance typically offered by women. Globally, gender mainstreaming has increasingly been recognized as a crucial component of sustainable water management since this gap, coupled with the need for women’s empowerment, hinders sustainable development goals. At all levels, from international to local, women’s con- tribution to the development, management, and use of water resources and the need for their involvement are paramount conditions for a gen- der-equal society. Women possess invaluable knowledge regarding water resources and play a pivotal role in water and sanitation management at local and community levels (OECD, 2021). Consequently, not only should they be able to enjoy not only equal access to water but have an equal voice in the management and governance of water resources compared to men. Furthermore, as expressed in Resolution No. 70/1695 , “The human right to safe drinking water and sanitation,” adopted by the General Assembly on December 17, 2015, provides, among other recommendations, that States should promote both women’s leadership and their full, effective, and equal participation in decision-making on water and sanitation manage- 5 UN General Assembly, 2016. Resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 17, 2015. “The hu- man right to safe drinking water and sanitation,” A/RES/70/169.
  • 41. 41 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces ment, and ensure that a gender-based approach is adopted in the scope of the programs implemented. A little over 25 years after the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995), gender equality through the realization of the basic right to wa- ter and sanitation has progressed poorly, considering that, in practical terms, large inequalities persist. Women remain underrepresented in their participation in different spheres and institutional arrangements linked to water resources development and management, government agencies and water utilities, and local water management institutions (UNESCO/WWAP, 2021). It turns out that the legal instruments that constitute the legal framework for putting into practice the rights recognized at international events by governments do not always have provisions to enable and empower gender integration or women’s involvement in water resources manage- ment within river basins. More often than not, gender clauses are simply absent or make no mention of the essential issues that concern the ful- fillment of the commitments made by governments and the effective ex- ercise of the human rights safeguarded in many of their constitutions for one-half of the population, which consists of women and girls. Although the simple insertion of the gender component in legal and regulatory in- struments does not ensure active participation, it is necessary because it constitutes a sociocultural and political support measure that strength- ens the concrete action of women in the bodies, councils, or committees in which they participate. In this sense, the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in 1995 at the Fourth World Conference on Women was a mile- stone for recognizing women’s rights and empowerment. The visibili- ty the Declaration gave to issues affecting women and the strong po- litical will demonstrated to address these issues were unprecedented. The Declaration was a collective effort to highlight women’s right to en- joy the highest standard of living on equal terms with men. The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action established a comprehensive road- map for achieving gender equality, with expected outcomes, concrete measures, and commitments related to critical and interrelated areas
  • 42. 42 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces of concern. These include topics such as women’s education and train- ing, violence against women, women and the economy, women in power and decision-making, institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women, and women’s human rights (UNESCO/WWAP, 2021) It has been 28 years since the General Assembly proclaimed the United Nations’ historic definition in December 1993 as the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women. Back then, violence against wom- en was defined as “any act of gender-based violence that results in or is likely to result in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life” (UN, 1993). Another major event on gender-based violence was held in Istanbul, Turkey, in March 2011, with the signing of “The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence,” better known as the Istanbul Convention. The docu- ment was drafted by the Council of Europe and provides legally binding standards (which means that signatory parties are obliged to comply with its provisions) not only to punish perpetrators but also to prevent violence and protect victims and sets minimum standards for the gov- ernments of Europe to prevent, protect, and suppress violence against women and domestic violence. The Istanbul Convention is considered the most far-reaching interna- tional treaty specifically designed to combat violence against women. It is globally regarded as the third regional treaty dealing with violence against women, and the most comprehensive after the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment, and Eradication of Violence against Women (Belém do Pará Convention), adopted in 1994, and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) which has been in effect since 2003 (AI, 2021). The first regional document, sponsored by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States (OAS), defines violence against women as “any act or conduct,
  • 43. 43 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces based on gender, which causes death or physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, whether in the public or the private sphere.” It further states that violence against women “occurs within the family or domestic unit or within any other interpersonal relationship, whether or not the perpetrator shares or has shared the same residence with the woman, including, among others, rape, battery, and sexual abuse,” or refers to acts “perpetrated by any person, including, among others, rape, sexual abuse, torture, trafficking in persons, forced prostitution, kidnap- ping and sexual harassment in the workplace, as well as in educational institutions, health facilities or any other place;” finally, it highlights violence “perpetrated or condoned by the state or its agents regardless of where it occurs.”6 . The second most relevant event is the Maputo Protocol, which dates from July 11, 2003. It defines violence against women as “all acts perpetrated against women which cause or could cause them physical, sexual, psy- chological, and economic harm, including the threat to take such acts; or to undertake the imposition of arbitrary restrictions on or deprivation of fundamental freedoms in private or public life in peace time and during situations of armed conflicts or of war.”7 These events and conferences helped advance legislation in many coun- tries; the historic UN definition was debated and detailed. One of UNICEF’s most recent definitions states that8 “Gender-based violence (GBV) is the most pervasive yet least visible hu- man rights violation in the world. It includes physical, sexual, mental, or economic harm inflicted on a person because of socially ascribed power imbalances between males and females. It also includes the threat of vi- olence, coercion, and deprivation of liberty, whether in public or private.” 6 The Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment, and Eradication of Violence against Women, “Belém do Pará Convention.” Available at: http://www.cidh.org/basicos/portugues/m.belem.do.para.htm 7 Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol). Available at: https://au.int/sites/default/files/treaties/37077-treaty-0027_-_protocol_to_the_african_ charter_on_human_and_peoples_rights_on_the_rights_of_women_in_africa_p.pdf 8 UNICEF – Available at: https://www.unicef.org/protection/gender-based-violence-in-emergencies
  • 44. 44 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces And it adds by stating that: “In all societies, women and girls have less power than men – over their bodies, decisions, and resources. Social norms that condone men’s use of violence as a form of discipline and control reinforce gender inequal- ity and perpetuate gender-based violence. Across the globe, women and girls – especially adolescents – face the greatest risk.” However, the fact is that violence against women has continued and, in many cases, intensified. According to the United Nations Population Fund, one in three women will experience physical or sexual abuse in her lifetime. This number increases among women living in low- and mid- dle-income areas. Moreover, in humanitarian contexts, women and girls are even more vulnerable to violence, whereas those with disabilities are doubly so (Devex, 2021). As mentioned, social power relations are the root causes of structur- al gender inequalities. Similarly, violence against women is deeply in- grained in society, as Baptista (2022) shows when pointing out that this type of violence is “configured by the proximity of the relationship be- tween victim and aggressor” and, more often than not, includes the “in- visibility” of the place where it occurs: the victim’s home or residence. “This invisibility is a trait of violence against women, which affects the production of data that can guide the drafting of policies to combat” the problem. It is difficult for governments to access the places where gender violence is perpetrated. However, “violence against women is solidified by the morality with which it is treated; it is up to women to decide” whether to compromise the family structure or family relations when violence occurs. In this sense, any analysis of gender violence must consider “the conditions of dependency created in family relationships that prevent reports of violence occurring in the domestic environment” (Baptista, 2022, p. 19). Similarly, Sebaldelli, Ignotti, and Hartwig (2021) state that gender vio- lence is a public health problem “due to the extent of its prevalence, severity, and recurrence, as well as the negative consequences on wom- en’s physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health.” It is a widespread problem worldwide; its causes are multiple and include social, political,
  • 45. 45 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces economic, and biological factors. This is a “form of violence that occurs in the household and has the [woman’s] intimate partner as the primary aggressor” (Sebaldelli, Ignotti, Hartwig, 2021, p.2). Research conducted by the Brazilian Forum on Public Safety, FBSP (2021) in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, shows the seriousness of gender violence in Brazil. According to the survey, one in four women aged 16 or older claims to have suffered violence, which means that about 17 mil- lion women were victims of physical, psychological, or sexual violence in that period. The aggressions perpetrated in the domestic environment accounted for 48.8% of the cases. The data on gender violence revealed by the FBSP survey (2021) present details of the problem, highlighting that 4.3 million women (6.3%) were physically assaulted with slaps, punches, or kicks. In other words, every minute, eight women were assaulted in Brazil during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic. The most ordinary form of violence was verbal offense (insults and swearing), experienced by about 13 million Brazilian women (18.6%). Threats of physical violence such as slapping, pushing, or kicking affected 5.9 million women (8.5%). 2.1 million women were threat- ened with knives or firearms, and another 1.6 million (2.4%) were hit or strangled. Those affected by sexual offenses or forced attempts to have sexual relations added up to about 3.7 million Brazilian women (5.4%). Considering the data listed in the previous paragraph and the fact that cases of violence against women have been underreported, we can say that Brazilians must frequently cope with such actions throughout the year. Indeed, this was illustrated in this research, according to which five out of 10 Brazilians (51.1%) have witnessed an episode of violence against women in their neighborhood or community throughout 2020. Considering the previous data showing that violence against women is frequent in the domestic environment, we can infer that such cases are dramatically underreported. After all, if half of the Brazilians have wit- nessed an act of gender violence, the real number of cases must be much higher than the survey data showed (FBSP, 2021).
  • 46. 46 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces A report issued by the Justiceiras Project published in March 2022 adds to the data obtained so far with statistical data covering a longer period of the COVID-19 pandemic and a broader and more detailed survey, with 9.5 thousand victims assisted throughout. This report shows that eight out of 10 victims of violence against women suffered psychological abuse during the pandemic. The women reported different forms of violence, such as psychological (82.96%), physical (59.06%), sexual (52.48%), and patrimonial (68.59%), all of which are most often perpetrated inside their own homes (74.89%). Seven out of ten women have reported medium and high severity situations committed by their current (40.41%) or previous (37.86%) partners. Another concern is the aggressors’ access to firearms: almost a quarter of the victims confirmed this (Projeto Justiceiras, 2022). Gender violence is deeply rooted in society and stems from sociocul- tural factors that perpetuate themselves from the violence practiced in the domestic sphere, spreading throughout society and manifesting in the most diverse sectors. Thus, this could be no different in the system that articulates water and sanitation governance. What has increasingly consolidated is the fight against this form of violence, which originates from the power disparity between men and women, in all areas of society, by seeking to gradually undermine this secular and culturally ingrained domination. In this sense, it is important to speak out against gender inequality and violence against women, including actions perpetrated in water resources governance instances. Women’s discrimination in water resources management is part of a broader context that involves the status of women in a global society. The search for a “democratic plurality depends on ensuring the space for identities based on distinct beliefs and practices to flourish.” It so happens that it is necessary to “ensure that this space is free of violence, of systemic harassment,” as well as “the inequalities that leverage the exercise of authority by some and the vulnerability and subordination of others.” (Biroli, 2012, p. 46) The difficulty in dealing with the issue of violence against women, includ- ing that perpetrated in the scope of the management of water resources, is how statistical data is collected; that is, it lacks robust, consistent,
  • 47. 47 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces sex-disaggregated, and gender-sensitive data9 since it fails to identify to whom they refer, and to individualize men or women, thus concealing the reality of submission of one gender before the other. We can also highlight the scarcity of related analyses that could support the develop- ment of basic, water-related gender knowledge. For example, as already mentioned, collecting family-related data hides the fact that power re- lations are asymmetric in family environments since male domination is more strongly manifested and generally based on a tradition that has been passed down for generations. The use of gender-disaggregated data may partly solve this problem. 7.1. Sexism and its significance to gender-based violence It is very challenging to discuss gender violence without identifying its root causes. In this sense, we must highlight the role played by sex- ism in society and its impacts on the perpetuation of gender inequality. Considering that in 2022 Brazil is going through one of its worst mo- ments regarding the intensification of misogyny, it is important to high- light sexism’s role in this process and how it is ingrained in society in its various manifestations. There is an explicit form of sexism, which is also the most fought against since it is the most evident. However, implicit sexism is even more intense, as it is veiled and embedded in words and acts and tends to not be questioned with the same intensity. However, both forms convey gender prejudice and discrimination. Sexism is prejudice or discrimination based on a person’s sex or gender. It can lead to a wide range of harmful behaviors, from acts of violence to subtle comments that reinforce stereotypes. All sexist manifestations are harmful and hurt society. Leonard (2021) describes distinct types 9 Accordingly, data collection should consider the impact of policies, projects and pro- grams on men, women, boys, and girls, so as to mitigate their negative consequences.
  • 48. 48 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces of sexism expressed in behaviors, speeches, writings, images, gestures, laws and policies, practices, and traditions. The author also refers to six basic types of sexism, namely hostile, benev- olent, ambivalent, institutional, interpersonal, and internalized, and de- scribes each with illustrative examples (Leonard, 2021), as shown below10 . 1 Hostile sexism: refers to openly hostile beliefs and behaviors toward a group of people based on their sex or gender. Misogyny, or the ha- tred of women, is an example of hostile sexism. People who hold hostile, sexist views may see women as manipulative, deceitful, capable of using seduction to control men, or who must be kept in their rightful place. People engaging in hostile sexism aim at preserving men’s dominance over women and people of other marginalized genders. They typical- ly oppose gender equality and may also oppose the rights of LGBTQIA+ people, perceiving them as a threat to men and the systems that benefit them. Some examples of sexism include using sexist language and in- sults; making threatening or aggressive comments based on a person’s gender or sex; harassing or threatening someone for challenging gen- der norms, whether in the online or offline environments; treating peo- ple as subordinates based on their sex or gender and punishing them when they “step out of line”; focusing the blame of sexual assault on the victims’ behavior or the clothes they wear; and engaging in physical or sexual assault. 2 Benevolent sexism: Refers to views and attitudes that frame women as innocent, pure, caring, nurturing, fragile, in need of protection, and beautiful. Compared to hostile sexism, the benevolent form may ap- pear less obvious. It is a more socially accepted form and is much more likely to be endorsed by both men and women. However, this type of sexism is not truly benevolent since although it assigns certain positive traits to women and femininity, it still frames one sex or gender as weak- er or inferior to the other. These ideas can lead to policies and behaviors that limit one’s agenda or ability to make their own choices. Men who en- dorse benevolent sexism may be more likely to support policies limiting 10 The following text lists the types of sexism and is adapted from Leonard (2021).
  • 49. 49 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces pregnant women’s freedom. Finally, benevolent sexism also undermines girls’ confidence in themselves and their abilities. Some examples of benevolent sexism include basing a woman’s value on her role as a mother, wife, or girlfriend; focusing attention and praise on a woman’s appearance rather than other attributes; believing that wom- en should not do things for themselves, such as manage their money or drive a car because of their gender; assuming that a woman is a nurse, assistant, or secretary, instead of a doctor, executive, or manager, based on their gender; and supporting policies that make it harder for women to work, be independent, or deviate from traditional gender roles. 3 Ambivalent sexism is a combination of hostile and benevolent sex- ism. Depending on the situation, people who express ambivalent sexism can oscillate between perceiving women as good, pure, and inno- cent or as manipulative or deceitful. Benevolent sexism offers protection to women in exchange for them adopting a more subordinate role, while hostile sexism targets those who deviate from this behavior. Examples of this type include glorifying traditionally feminine behavior and demonizing “unfeminine” ones; hiring a woman because she is at- tractive and then firing her if she does not respond to sexual advances; and differentiating between “decent” and “indecent” women based on how they dress. 4 Institutional sexism: refers to sexism entrenched in organizations and institutions, such as the government, the legal system, the educational system, the health care system, financial institutions, the media, and other workplaces. Institutional sexism emerges when policies, procedures, attitudes, or laws create or reinforce sexism. Institutional sexism is pervasive. It can be hostile, benevolent, or ambivalent. One of the clearest indicators of this type of behavior is the lack of gender di- versity among political leaders and business executives. Another indica- tor is the pay gap existing between men and women. This gap is greater for women with children and Black and Indigenous people, women, and people with disabilities, among other minority groups.
  • 50. 50 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces 5 Interpersonal sexism manifests in the scope of interactions with others. It can occur in the workplace, in relationships, among family members, and in interactions with strangers. Examples of interpersonal sexism include telling a woman to be more elegant; judging her for not fitting into stereotypes of femininity, such as being affectionate or sub- missive; making inappropriate comments about her appearance; talking to her based on assumptions about her gender and engaging in unwanted sexual attention or touching her; and justifying sexist behavior by saying that “boys will be boys,” as if ruling out the possibility of adopting yet another gendered behavior. 6 Internalized sexism refers to the sexist beliefs people hold about themselves. Usually, a person adopts these beliefs involuntarily due to exposure to sexist behavior or other people’s opinions. Internalized sexism can spark feelings of incompetence, doubt, powerlessness, and shame. It also causes people to unwittingly collude with sexism. For ex- ample, the lower rate of women working in science, technology, engi- neering, and mathematics may be due to internalized sexism. In addition, sexist stereotypes can affect academic performance. Since there is a widespread belief that boys are better than girls at math and science, this can cause a lack of confidence among the latter. Examples of internalized sexism include making self-deprecating jokes about one’s gender, such as those involving blond women; basing a wom- an’s self-esteem on how desirable she is in the eyes of men; feeling ashamed of aspects associated with being a woman, such as menstru- ation or the female genitalia; and feeling that it is vital to conform to gender ideals, even if this implies harming oneself, through restrictive diets, for example. Sexism is ingrained in society and is the very cause of gender inequality. To combat it, it is crucial to understand it, identify how it is manifested, and then challenge sexist attitudes and practices in all places, whatever they may be, from government institutions to the meetings of neighbor- hood friendships, in clubs, student councils, public policy councils, the domestic environment, the media, that is, in all different spheres through which social life is articulated.
  • 51. 8.  The need for gender- disaggregated data
  • 52. 52 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces B esides being a human rights issue, gender inequality in water and sanitation management also comprises the management of water resources to make them more effective in serving a larger number of people through the provision of quality water and service. The basis for developing this inclusion process is the collection of better data on existing gender inequality. The availability of such data contributes to making the existing structural inequalities visible, so collecting it is both a challenge and an opportunity to create and improve public policies. Without relying on gender-stratified data, it is impossible to know the exact extent of the marginalization of women in relation to men, which is camouflaged by aggregated, non-individualized data. Men and women have different priorities, uses, and needs in the water and sanitation sector. As it has been acknowledged11 , women play a key role in managing water resources for the benefit of their families and society, and gender dynamics in the water and sanitation sector reflect and reinforce the intersection between poverty, gender, and development sustainability. In this sense, gender-sensitive and inclusive analyses are paramount to shed light on the inequalities in access to safe drinking water (SDG 6.1.1), sanitation, and hygiene (SDG 6.2.1), to support the mon- itoring and evaluation of gender aspects in water resources management (SDG 6.5.1) and the conservation of these resources, among other aspects (Seager, 2015; UN, 2015; GWP, 2021). In most contexts, women and men have various levels of access to and control over water resources. The different values and priorities between men and women in the scope of these resources lead to distinct and vital 11 International Conference on Water and the Environment, Dublin, 1992.
  • 53. 53 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces benefits for livelihood and ecosystems. Research shows that when col- lecting gender-disaggregated data (GDD), the differences between men and women become evident. Collecting disaggregated data in the water and sanitation sector distributed by sex, age, and other factors is crucial to better understanding how water is used, managed, and distributed. Performing gender-based analyses allows us to identify and understand gender issues and how to address them appropriately in planning, proj- ects, and policies (Unesco, 2021a). If no GDD is collected, it is impossible to fully monitor and measure prog- ress towards the accomplishment of global water and sanitation commit- ments, particularly those related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In addition, gender-disaggregated data are crucial to assess and make the differential effects of policy measures on women and men more visible and to assess and monitor the role of women in water and sani- tation issues more effectively. Data about water production and consumption are usually distributed and organized by households. However, in most cases, the unit of anal- ysis is the household or community, and neither distinguishes individ- ual members. This, in turn, results in an analysis that neglects gender differences in the scope of water and sanitation, which involve women and men of different ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. A family is a social unit characterized by power imbalances, and perceiving it as a unit obscures this relationship. To better understand the gender situation in the context of water re- sources, it is necessary to have better information about who has a right to water, how much work is required to access it, who does the work, who uses and benefits from it, and the purposes for which it is used. This requirement is commensurate with the human right to water, which is an inalienable right of the individual and not the family (UNESCO, 2021b). Similarly, the impact of gender inequality on water resource governance cannot be properly assessed without disaggregated data. GDD are data collected, tabulated, and analyzed separately according to gender. While quantitative data track numerical changes over time, quali-
  • 54. 54 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces tative data may seek to assess changes related to experiences, attitudes, or perceptions. This may involve questions about their individual roles and responsibilities. The goal of collecting GDD is to provide a more thorough understanding of the human relationships in water resource management to develop better policies and programs. As a means of addressing the imbalance between responsibilities and power and/or rights of men and women, we must first understand the underlying drivers and root causes of these discrepancies and quantify them so that appropriate changes can be made in the design, planning, monitoring, and evaluation of water and sanitation projects or programs, as well as water resources policies and strategies (Thuy, Miletto, Pangare, 2019). Gender-disaggregated data allow us to understand gender differences and the unique needs of men and women and can also reflect variations in culturally constructed social and gender roles and the responsibilities and expectations typically assigned to men and women. Disaggregated data are vital to fully understand where and how discrimination occurs in the scope of access to the human rights to water and sanitation. Indeed, they allow us to identify inequalities and potential discrimination and can also reveal situations where equality is evident (Bethany et al., 2021). Conducting these analyses separately allows one to measure the dif- ferences between women and men from various social and economic dimensions and is one of the requirements for obtaining gender sta- tistics. Therefore, collecting this type of information can contribute to reducing the gender gap related to social, economic, and environmental vulnerabilities in any area, as well as water resources and use, which are the focus of this study. Along these lines, information regarding the processes of data collection, analysis, and use should be seen as an opportunity to promote gender equality and the involvement of under- represented groups. Evaluations can also consider intersectionalities (age, ethnicity, class, education, sexuality, health, etc.) when analyzing gender dimensions.
  • 55. 55 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces However, there is more to gender statistics than GDD. By itself, having data aggregated by gender does not ensure that the concepts, defini- tions, and methods used in data production will be designed to reflect gender roles, relations, and inequalities in society (EIGE, 2021). While abundant data on gender and water exist in different organizations at all levels (local, regional, national, and international), the quality and type of data are not adequate to support GDD targets in the context of water and sanitation, often due to the use of inadequate (or incompati- ble) units of analysis and methodologies, and interviewers who are not gender-sensitive. GDD is fundamental for formulating public policies that consider gender inequality as an impediment to sustainable development, especially in such a crucial sector for sustainability as water resources. The improve- ment of the quality of life requires solving the problem of inequality, and the widespread use of GDD is the path that leads to it.
  • 57. 57 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces T his descriptive research adopts quantitative and qualitative ap- proaches, so primary and secondary data were collected. This ex- ploratory and descriptive study sought, from an initial exploration of the available information, to describe the characteristics of the actors participating in water resources management. The primary sources were obtained from research questionnaires with closed questions and spaces for adding notes. In turn, the secondary data were collected from pub- lications related to the state law and the functioning of the State Water Resources Councils. The target subjects of the research were “social actors,” who are en- dowed with the potential to play a leading role in the process of formulat- ing, implementing, and evaluating the actions related to water resources management policy. At the same time, we understand that they express their social demands by doing so. As for the procedures required for data collection, in the first stage, we resorted to surveying the existing state councils in the country and the number of full and alternate members in each body. As the data were obtained, the members were contacted by sending questionnaires elec- tronically to the state councils’ representatives, and we reinforced the request for participation. Responses were obtained between January and May 2020. According to the survey, there are 1,522 spaces for participation in state water resources councils, considering the vacancies of full and alternate members. Table 1 presents the information about these various spaces, which were established between 1985 and 2006.
  • 58. 58 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces Table 1 – Number of members (full and alternate) in State Water Resources Councils12 13 Acre14 Alagoas Year of creation 1997 Number of members (Bylaws) 50 Number of participants 46 Device Established by Law No. 5.965 of November 10, 1997, and regulated by Decrees No. 37.784/1998 and 658/2002. Amapá Year of creation 2002 Number of members (Bylaws) 55 Number of participants 55 Device Decree No. 4.509 of December 29, 2009, and Decree No. 4.544 of December 29, 2009. Amazonas Year of creation 2005 Number of members (Bylaws) 88 Number of participants 81 Device Created by Decree No. 25.037/2005. 12 Number of members (full and alternate), according to the committee’s bylaws. 13 Number of active members (data obtained from the list of members available on the committee’s website and via email). 14 The State Council of Environment, Science, and Technology (CEMACT), a deliberative and normative collegiate body that integrates the State System of Environment, Science and Technology (SISMACT), was established by Law No. 1022 of January 21, 1992.
  • 59. 59 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces Bahia Year of creation 1998 Number of members (Bylaws) 71 Number of participants 53 Device Created by Decree No. 7.354 of September 14, 1998, and regulated by Decree No. 12.120 of May 11, 2010. Ceará Year of creation 1994 Number of members (Bylaws) 48 Number of participants 47 Device Decree No. 23.039, February 1, 1994 Distrito Federal Year of creation 2001 Number of members (Bylaws) 56 Number of participants 51 Device Established by District Law No. 2.725 of June 13, 2001, and regulated by District Decree No. 24.674 of June 22, 2004. Espírito Santo Year of creation 2000 Number of members (Bylaws) 60 Number of participants 56 Device Created by Law No. 5.818 of December 29, 1998, and regulated by Decree No. 1.737 of October 3, 2006.
  • 60. 60 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces Goiás Year of creation 1997 Number of members (Bylaws) 35 Number of participants 35 Device Created by Item I, Article 25, Law No. 13.123/1997. It was extinguished following the administrative reform of the Executive Branch in 2008 and reinstated in 2009 by Decree No. 6.999 of September 17, 2009. Maranhão Year of creation 2004 Number of members (Bylaws) 61 Number of participants 52 Device Created by Law No. 8.149 of June 15, 2004, with members appointed by State Decree No. 30.191 of July 9, 2014. Mato Grosso Year of creation 1997 Number of members (Bylaws) 56 Number of participants 56 Device Established by State Law No. 11.088/2020, regulated by Decree No. 316 of November 6, 2015, amended by Decrees No. 597 of June 16, 2016, and No. 1.163 of August 22, 2017, and No. 363 of February 11, 2020. Mato Grosso do Sul Year of creation 2004 Number of members (Bylaws) 73 Number of participants 65 Device Regulated by Decree No. 11.621 of June 1, 2004, and rearranged by Decrees No. 14.217 of June 17, 2015, and No. 15.079 of October 9, 2018.
  • 61. 61 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces Minas Gerais Year of creation 1987 Number of members (Bylaws) 118 Number of participants 117 Device Created by Decree No. 26.961 of April 28, 1987. Pará Year of creation 2001 Number of members (Bylaws) 54 Number of participants 48 Device Created by Decree No. 6.381 of September 14, 1998, and regulated by Decree No. 1.556 of Thursday, June 9, 2016. Paraíba Year of creation 1996 Number of members (Bylaws) 52 Number of participants 51 Device Article 7 of Law No. 6.308 of July 2, 1996, and the Decree No. 19.257 of October 31, 1997, gave new wording to the bylaws. Paraná Year of creation 1999 Number of members (Bylaws) 83 Number of participants 70 Device Established by Decree No. 12.726 of November 26, 1999, and regulated by Decree No. 9.129/2010.
  • 62. 62 The profile of state water resources councils’ representatives and women’s voice in these spaces Pernambuco Year of creation 1997 Number of members (Bylaws) 60 Number of participants 58 Device Established by Decree No. 11.426 of January 17, 1997. Piauí Year of creation 2000 Number of members (Bylaws) 42 Number of participants 38 Device Created by Law No. 5.165 of August 17, 2000, and regulated by Decree No. 10.880 of September 24, 2002. Rio de Janeiro Year of creation 2000 Number of members (Bylaws) 64 Number of participants 52 Device Established by State Decrees No. 27.208 of October 2, 2000, No. 32.862/2003, No. 41.309/2007, No. 44.115/2013, and No. 45.804/2016. Rio Grande do Norte Year of creation 1996 Number of members (Bylaws) 64 Number of participants 54 Device Created by Law No. 6.908 of July 1, 1996, and regulated by Decree No. 13.284/1997.