Analyzing problems and opportunities

Equal say is the key

Watershed projects in India & Africa show the way
Having 50% women on watershed committees in India has ensured that their concerns are addressed in decision making. It has also empowered them to have an equal say in community affairs.
Rajasthan is one of the priority regions for watershed interventions in India.

Rajasthan is one of the priority regions for watershed interventions in India.      photo credits P Panjiar/ ICRISAT


Change in focus

rajasthan-watershed-mapAdoption of a holistic community-based approach, created a voice and stake for the landless, poor and women
taking it further than soil and moisture conservation and water harvesting interventions.

Knowledge is power
Trainings on new on-farm practices instilled confidence, created awareness and equipped women farmers.

Money matters
Self-Help Groups (SHGs) facilitated women to save and invest in businesses.


Women as agents of change

She leads by example

Lata baiMember, Kalbherav Watershed Development Committee, Maharashtra

  • She is the first farmer in the project to construct a farm pond in her field. She motivates other farmers to do the same.lata-bai
  • She played an active part in watershed interventions, especially selecting sites for check dams and taking part in the construction. 
  • She does not hesitate to raise issues of concern and asks for interventions at the right time.
  • She is always ready to try new technologies.



A social health activist and model farmer

SujathammaMember Watershed Committee, Muduvatti, Karnataka

  • Villagers respect her leadership in the agricultural community especially with regard to divsujatha-ammaersifying farm activities. She cultivates finger millet and uses part of the land for a mango plantation. She maintains livestock for additional income.
  • She is an accredited social health worker and also a member
    of the village Self-Help Group.

Four wells were on her ‘to do’ list

Geeta BaiMember, Model Watershed Committee, Siyalwada, Madhya Pradesh

  • Joining the watershed committee gave this tribal woman of poor socio-economic status the courage to overcome male dominance and caste dynamics.
  • geetha-baiIn 2014, she contested elections to the local self-government. She was elected as a member andshe raised the proposals of tribal families under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act for digging wells.
  • As a member of the watershed committee, she raised four proposals for water storage structures in her village and took responsibility for their completion.
All the three women leaders were recognized for their work on Women Farmers Day on 12 September 2014 at ICRISAT headquarters.



Yewol Watershed, Ethiopia
  • About 25% of the watershed members are women;
  • Plans are in place to increase the participation of women in new watersheds.


Other watersheds in the pipeline in Ethiopia
  •  Logo Haik Watershed
  •  Gudo Beret Watershedyewol-watershed-africa-map
  •  Lemu Watershed
  •  Mehoni Watershed



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