Date of Award
Croft Institute for International Studies
Water insecurity has received growing attention as climate change is worsening environmental conditions, and research has established how water insecurity has differentiated impacts according to one's gender. In light of both an increasing trend in environmental migration and extreme weather events in Bolivia, this paper sought to establish environmental migration's explicit role in the relationship between water scarcity and gendered effects. To do so, it addressed the question, how does environmental migration influence the relationship between gendered effects and water scarcity? and hypothesized that migration is a more subtle and overlooked contributor to the gendered effects of water scarcity. The research constructed a descriptive case study of Bolivia, highlighting the situation of water scarcity and environmental migration in Bolivia, using sources such as household surveys, videos, and census data. The results created a profile of the situation of these phenomena in Bolivia and confirmed the relationship between water scarcity and gendered effects, as well as the presence of migration in water-scarce regions. After establishing these trends, the paper related the three phenomena, suggesting a direct role of environmental migration in water scarcity's gendered effects. Worsening environmental conditions due to climate change, mismanagement of resources, and inaction to address these issues will exacerbate the situation. Solutions should address ending environmentally harmful practices and improving women's conditions, including incorporation and empowerment of women in decisions surrounding water accessibility. Further research on the topic include the comparative effects on men and women of environmental migration, as well as the study of other vulnerable populations.
Meeks, Sarah T., "Water, Women, and Migration: Examining the Interconnections Between Water Scarcity, Environmental Migration, and Women in Bolivia" (2018). Honors Theses. 829.