Global Development Studies Senior Thesis Projects

Emma Welty '18

Project Title: Gender, Caste, and Water Management in Rural India

Summary: Globalization has affected the access of marginalized communities such as religious and gender minorities to water resources. Sustainable water infrastructure in rural areas is often limited due to environmental factors or even sabotaged by social prejudice. Because of these limitations, some minority groups experience greater discrimination than others, specifically Dalit women as compared to Dalit men or women of higher castes and religions. Historically, caste and gender relationships have played a significant role in the allocation and distribution of water, and it is argued that both welfare and neoliberal policies reinforce inequalities caused by this social fragmentation. This paper analyzes how the interconnection of relationships between gender, caste, and water contribute to water management among marginalized groups.