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Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water








We reviewed the existing literature documenting the association between water insecurity and gender-based violence to (1) describe the characteristics and contexts of available studies, and (2) identify and classify documented gender-based violence across domains of water insecurity (access, affordability, adequacy, reliability, and safety). 18 peer-reviewed articles mentioned associations between water insecurity and gender-based violence. All studies were conducted in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia and were published in English. The most common manifestation of the relationship between water insecurity and gender-based violence was an increased risk of sexual and physical violence for women who walked long distances to access water. This was followed by intimate partner violence sparked by the inability to meet domestic obligations due to household water inadequacy. Despite these trends, the domains of water insecurity, and the types of violence experienced by women, were often intertwined. We conclude that there is a dearth of information assessing gender-based violence and water insecurity, especially in Latin America, North America, and Southeast Asia, and involving locally-based scholars. We suggest that the spectrum of what is considered “violence” in relation to water insecurity be expanded and that scholars and practitioners adopt the term “gender-based water violence” to describe water-related stressors that are so extreme as to threaten human health and well-being, particularly that of women and girls. Finally, we encourage the development of cross-culturally validated measures of gender-based violence, which can be deployed in conjunction with standardized measures of water insecurity, to evaluate interventions that target these linked threats to global health.This article is categorized under:Engineering Water > Water, Health, and SanitationHuman Water > Rights to Water


© 2022 The Authors. WIREs Water published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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