Opposing Currents: The Politics of Water and Gender in Latin
America. Edited by Vivienne Bennett, Sonia Dávila-Poblete, and
María Nieves Rico. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.
2005. 264 pp. $27.95.
This book represents an important contribution to a growing subfield
of feminist scholarship. Moving beyond a focus on the traditional policy
areas normally associated with women and politics, the authors bring a
gender analysis to bear on the “politics of water” in Latin
America. Not only is this a policy issue not usually linked to
women's rights, but, as the editors argue, even the national-level
women's policy agencies created in many Latin American countries have
overlooked the way gender discrimination impacts the heightening water
crisis facing much of the region. Nevertheless, they maintain that
“the right to water underpins all other social rights” (p. 15)
and that “a gender perspective is not only possible but essential
for effective water management” (p. ix).