Rebecca Peters

Indigenous Women and Water in Bolivia

Mujeres Indígenas y Yaku (Indigenous Women and Water) will examine the ways access to water in the peri-urban margins of Cochabamba, Bolivia are drawn around lines of race, gender, and socio-economic status. After the failure of water privatization by the World Bank, water cooperatives assumed responsibility of providing water to the unconnected in Cochabamba. However, access to water and sanitation remains incredibly low – 27% for drinking water and 12% for sanitation in neighborhoods in the Zona Sur – and indigenous women are disproportionately impacted by unequal access to water. I will partner with the organization I spent 10 weeks with this past summer, Agua Para el Pueblo, which works in the fields of water resources management, capacity building, social justice, community organizing, infrastructure development, and impact evaluations. The goal of this research is to complement existing literature about indigenous women’s access to water, sanitation, and hygiene in peri-urban Cochabamba, which is largely ignored by the government and marked by poverty, migration, and poor water quality due to exposure to raw waste.