Pastoralist women and water: understanding the ways in which women’s disempowerment contributes to water security risks

Pastoral societies often suffer the greatest burdens of water insecurity worldwide. Pastoral women are particularly vulnerable during shocks such as drought; they are the ‘hidden hands’ of production, responsible for many resource management tasks, yet they often lack control over these resources. 

This project will explore the constraints faced by pastoralist women in northern Kenya during periods of drought and normal periods. It will analyse the roles and responsibilities of men and women, and their access to and control over water resources.

A better understanding of the relationship between gender, poverty and water security will help inform gender inclusive and sustainable water security projects.

The research team will apply this knowledge to develop a sustainable model for water resource management for community conservancies in northern Kenya.

This project is one of twelve Catalyst Projects funded through our Partnership Funding


August 2016 – August 2017




  • Centre for Humanitarian Change (CHC)
  • Northern Rangelands Trust

‘Our partnership with Northern Rangelands Trust will enable research on women’s disempowerment to be translated into action by developing a technical and holistic water management model.’

Nancy Balfour, Centre for Humanitarian Change

Skip to content