Accepted paper:

Participation of women in rural water supply and sanitation projects: Visible or invisible actors? - A case of subdistrict Maubara, Liquiçá, Timor-Leste.

Authors:

Therese Nguyen (National University of Timor-Leste)

Paper short abstract:

In Timor-Leste, the equal participation of women in rural water supply and sanitation (RWSS) becomes one of the most challenges for the community organizers and the policy makers. This paper aims to explore the nature and the politics of women participation in RWSS.

Paper long abstract:

In Timor-Leste, the equal participation of women in RWSS became a big challenge for the community organizers and the policy makers. This paper aims to explore the nature and the politics of women participation in rural water supply and sanitation (RWSS) by choosing two communities in Maubara sub-district, employing the face-to-face semi-structural interviews. The research design was multi-sited ethnographic case studies. In addition, direct on-field observations also help to discover the attitudes and the nonverbal communication of the community members. The researcher found out that there are two different patterns of participation: one has an organized, initially guided, top-down pattern of participation, and the other one has a more spontaneous way mobilizing community members based on their emergency needs. The first pattern has imposed gender mainstreaming strategy and women are included in the GMF (water management group) and some worked in technical team but the women inclusion could be seen as token, most of women participated in the project by doing the works that are the extension of their domestic works on daily basis. In the second pattern, women totally are excluded from the planning activity; In general, the participation of women in RWSS project is instrumentally oriented. There are various factors that facilitate and enhance the participation of women like: social, economic and cultural barriers factors, community leadership, geographical location, and including other natural factors.

panel G01
The gendering of public space in the globalized world (IUAES Commission on the Anthropology of Women)