How water insecurity affects women

Syllabus: GS-I, Subject: Society and Social Justice, Topic: Issues of women, Issue: Effect of water insecurity on women

Data point:

  • Over 41% of rural households in India lack access to safely managed drinking water within their homes. (NSSO 78th Round)

Water insecurity-effects of on women:

  • Water collection, a gendered activity, disproportionately burdens women and girls.
  • Girls’ education suffers due to water-related burdens.
  • Gender-based violence during water collection, affecting mental health.
  • Inadequate water access and open defecation increase health risks like diarrhea.
  • Women face risks of non-partner sexual violence due to these conditions.

Jal Jeevan Mission(JJM)-addressing these concerns:

  • Focuses on providing household tap connections for drinking water access.
  • This reduces women’s drudgery and empowers them for gainful activities.
  • Increased participation of women in community engagement including Pani Samitis.
  • JJM guidelines recommend training women for water quality monitoring.


  • Mainstream gender considerations in water access policy.
+1 advantage for mains (Case study)

●         A study in Tamil Nadu found that JJM reduced women’s time spent on water collection, allowing for better household management.

●         Women with better empowerment indicators showed improved mental health and spent less time seeking water.

●         Positive correlations exist between water and sanitation access.

Scroll to Top