Water is Life

Women's human rights in national and local water governance in Southern and Eastern Africa

Anne Hellum & Patricia Kameri-Mbote



This book approached water and sanitation as an African gender and human rights issue. Empirical case studies from Kenya, Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe show how coexisting international, national and local regulations of water and sanitation respond to the ways in which different groups of rural and urban women gain access to water for personal, domestic and livelihood purposes. The authors, who are lawyers, sociologists, political scientists and anthropologists, explore how women cope in contexts where they lack secure rights, and participation in water governance institutions, formal and informal.


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Anne Hellum is a Norwegian jurist. She is Professor of Public Law at the Department of Public and International Law at the University of Oslo Faculty of Law.

Patricia Kameri-Mbote is a Professor of Law at the School of Law, University of Nairobi. She is an. Advocate of the High Court of Kenya and was conferred the rank of Senior Counsel in 2012. She is the Dean of the School of Law, University of Nairobi.