Water Sector Reforms in Kenya : Gender Implications

Kenya enacted a water Act in 2002 to replace the existing water law. The new Water Act introduced new institutions to govern water as well as mediate access to water resources. A major criticism of the Act is its introduction of multifarious institutions and the failure to consider existing grassroots associations that have managed water over time. This paper looks at the impact of the Water Act 2002 on women's access to water. It proceeds from the premise that access to water is critical to women's performance of their day top day tasks as well as their effective participation in economic activities that are largely agricultural. The failure to mainstream women's needs and interests in a water regulation regime impacts on women's enjoyment of their rights at the social, economic and political levels.