Water Stories: Older Women and Water Management Practices in Palestine

Kholoud Al-Ajarma, Ghadeer Arafeh, Jawida Mansour

Research output: Working paper

Abstract / Description of output

Official and academic discourse on water management in Palestine largely ignores both a wealth of traditional knowledge about and non-economic values attached to water. In this paper, we explore the vital role of older generations of Palestinian women in water collection and management, and in household sustainability. Twenty women aged between 68 to 105 in the West Bank shared their stories and narratives about their traditional roles as ‘water-keepers’ or ‘caretakers’. They also described the dramatic change in women’s relationship and connectedness with water brought about by the arrival of new water systems and their subsequent exclusion from development agendas and policies. We suggest that the stories of Palestinian women can support water management by promoting awareness of the cultural and social values of water. By revealing women’s water-related narratives and stories, we advocate that the cultural knowledge of indigenous peoples is a vital perspective to integrate into the planning, management, and governance of water resources.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCentre for Mediterranean Integration of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • water value
  • water management
  • Palestine
  • older women
  • stories

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