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date: 15 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Whereas international debates have increasingly acknowledged the role of gender in food and water security, they have often focussed somewhat exclusively on the role of women in agricultural production. This chapter aims at broadening our understanding of gendered inequities in food and water systems by examining how power structures produce gender-differentiated capabilities along the real-virtual water spectrum. The analysis reveals how gender, intersecting with class, ethnicity, and other social categories, shapes the capabilities to engage in, benefit from, and influence food and water systems. The findings show the relevance of using a commodity chain analysis to highlight the linkages between, for example, food standards in the Global North and gendered exploitative work conditions in the food export industry in the Global South. To conclude, this chapter calls for deliberative approaches to develop just food and water systems by considering the values, preferences, and trade-offs of diverse social groups engaged in these systems.

Keywords: Gender, virtual water, food systems, capabilities, value-chain

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