Like many engineering and infrastructure sectors, hydropower historically is an industry dominated by men. Many of the processes involved in developing hydropower — from engineering to resettlement — are controlled by men and deliver outcomes largely in the interests of men.
There is some hope that this is changing — albeit slowly. Women are now seen in the social and environmental aspects of hydropower businesses, or in sustainability or corporate social responsibility arms. But overall women and women’s interests remain under-represented in higher levels of decision-making in hydropower projects and within hydropower companies.
This manual is written to promote stronger consideration of gender in hydropower development. The aim is that this manual will assist hydropower company staff in their day-to-day jobs for assessing impacts and managing risk in hydropower development. In doing so, it should inform decision-making and implementation of hydropower dam projects — so that impacts, rights and opportunities are considered equally for women and men.
The manual introduces useful tools for project staff in hydropower companies, and for government staff responsible for project development and operation.
It is designed to prompt, and expands on existing social and environmental impact and management processes. The intention is that many different stakeholders in hydropower businesses can use it — not just staff in community relations or environmental or social management divisions.