Local Responses to Global Issues in Samburu, Kenya and Ladakh, India

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  • Title: Local Responses to Global Issues in Samburu, Kenya and Ladakh, India: (En)gendered Environmental Human Rights Realities
  • Author(s): Marchéta Wright
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Diversity in Organizations, Communities & Nations
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Community Diversity
  • Keywords: Human Rights, Environment, Gender, Samburu, Kenya, Ladakh, India, Water Scarcity
  • Volume: 18
  • Issue: 2
  • Year: 2018
  • ISSN: 2327-0004 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2327-2147 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2327-0004/CGP/v18i02/1-15
  • Citation: Wright, Marchéta. 2018. "Local Responses to Global Issues in Samburu, Kenya and Ladakh, India: (En)gendered Environmental Human Rights Realities." The International Journal of Community Diversity 18 (2): 1-15. doi:10.18848/2327-0004/CGP/v18i02/1-15.
  • Extent: 15 pages


How do local communities—in particular, those that are seemingly “marginalized”—identify and respond to environmental realities of a global nature? The nexus of human rights, indigenous peoples, gender, and environmental issues furnishes the context for examining women’s political, economic, and social agency in Samburu, Kenya and Ladakh, India. The project discusses observations and reflections on gendered political agency and empowerment around environmental realities; in particular, water access, quality, and management. Recent field research in Samburu and Ladakh grounds the analysis of actual and potential civic engagement and civil society relevant to the stated issues. It pays particular attention to the gendered nature of political and economic agency by drawing on both traditional and contemporary political and socio-economic practices and activities. Ladakh and Samburu are a leading edge in terms of climate change impact and other forms of environmental uncertainties. Such communities have been managing their members’ needs and political and economic security in the face of naturally and artificially induced scarcities because of where they are located. Civil society organizations have acted in concert to address such problems. Furthermore, the integration of traditional and more contemporary gender roles vis-à-vis decision-making has led to some innovative approaches to problem identification and design and implementation of solutions with varying degrees of success. Note: both areas are clearly former British colonies; however, the well-known and documented adverse cultural, socio-economic, and political consequences of colonialism, while firmly acknowledged and accepted by the author, are not the subject of analysis herein.