The World Commission on Dams’ influential final report linked equitable and sustainable water and energy development, and the need for hydropower dam proponents to recognise rights, address risks, and safeguard the entitlements of all groups of affected people, including women. Yet since the report’s publication in 2000, very limited attention has been given to the gendered effects of large hydropower dams. This situation must change, given that hydropower projects inevitably have considerable impact on women and gender relations. This article describes efforts by Oxfam, the Lao Women’s Union, and the Center for Social Research and Development in Vietnam, to engage the hydropower sector on gender issues, and to work with companies and other stakeholders to pilot gender impact assessments of hydropower projects in Laos and Vietnam.
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