Although women in urban households in Nigeria are primarily responsible for sourcing and managing domestic water supplies, their responses to problems with obtaining water have to be negotiated within the context of gender power relations, roles and responsibilities, both within and outside the household. This article, focusing on women in poor communities in Lagos and Benin City, Nigeria, shows that there is some relationship between women’s desire to organise for water improvements, and membership in voluntary associations. However, women are generally unable to influence decision-making in the sector through voluntary associations, and are excluded from actual participation in the business of water supply and the associated economic opportunities.
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