Environment & Social Development Financial Inclusion Global Asset Building Working Paper

Gender and Asset Dimensions of Seasonal Water Insecurity in Urban Philippines

Seasonal water insecurity is a social and climate-related problem of growing concern in many urban areas. From 2000 to 2050, the global urban population affected by seasonal water shortage is projected to increase from 312 million to 1.3 billion. This increase is due to a combination of drivers, including population growth, urbanization, and climate change. To advance understanding of the social dimensions of this problem, this study uses qualitative methods—archival research, informal interviews (N = 7), and in-depth interviews (N  =15)—to explore how gender and assets relate to water insecurity in the rainy and dry seasons in three urban neighborhoods in Baguio City, the Philippines. Analytic methods include memo production and qualitative text analysis. Key findings are that households manage complex water portfolios that change seasonally or more frequently; women and men have gendered roles in managing water portfolios, providing versus managing income for water purchases, and physically carrying water; and particular forms of physical, financial, and social assets seem to matter for reducing seasonal water insecurity in ways that may be gendered as well. Implications for more gender-sensitive and asset-focused research and policy are discussed.

Subsequent publication: Mason, L. R. (2012). Gender and asset dimensions of seasonal water insecurity in urban Philippines. Weather, Climate, and Society, 4(1), 20–33. doi:10.1175/WCAS-D-11-00037.1


Mason, L. R. (2011). Gender and asset dimensions of seasonal water insecurity in urban Philippines (CSD Working Paper No. 11-12). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.