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  • THE JUDGE OF WATERS IN THE INCA SOCIETY *
    By: José Luis Luján Cárdenas, sociologist

    Despite the impressive development of science and technology, very few countries have achieved water security; vital for the ecosustainable development of a certain society. The Incas, in South America, achieved it eight centuries ago, in a territory of two and a half million square kilometers, which encompassed Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia, Argentina and Peru, with approximately 15 million inhabitants.
    On the coast, mountains and jungle with an enviable nature-friendly hydraulic network (precursors of green infrastructure) and regulating microclimates, they irrigated more than 1,000,000 hectares of crops, achieving food security, new habitats, preventing and mitigating damage caused by weather as El Niño, La Niña, demonstrating high efficiency in the management of water and its natural sources.
    The cult to the yaku and the mamapacha (water and mother Earth, in quechua) reached mystical and religious levels, so much that to attack the environment, it was punished with the death. It is said that Machu Picchu would have been a place of worship to water, for its portentosa hydraulic engineering. Today, in some parts of Peru, Inca works are maintained, such as the platforms, with almost 500 thousand hectares.
    This ancestral water-agricultural knowledge has an expression -among many others- in the Traditional System of Water Judges of Corongo (1), in Áncash, which has recently been recognized as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (Unesco)
    Its origin comes when the Inca, at the recommendation of the curacas (2), governors of the ayllus (3), designated the Yacucamayoc (superintendent of waters), to administer the hydraulic systems for the correct, timely, rational and sustained supply of water -produced from the Corongo River-, both for human consumption, as well as agricultural and livestock activity.
    Today, this Water Judge, chosen by the community, continues this ancestral administration of water resources and places value on historical memory, based on the minka (obligatory community work), ensuring the care, protection, conservation and productivity of water and the soils, rotating crops, distributing equally parcels, enabling channels, etc.
    In the Inca style, the Water Judge also organizes a popular religious festive calendar in Corongo, for Easter, Carnivals, Holy Week and the Feast of St. Peter, collectively thanking water, land and nature for its transcendental impact on the well-being of this Andean community.
    (1) Province at 591 km north of Lima, located at 3.141 msnm
    (2) The curaca was the political, administrative and judge head of an ayllu.
    (3) Social organization of pre-Inca origin conformed by families united by economic, social, cultural, kinship and language ties, that lived in a specific place, and that today are called peasant communities.

    * Published in IAgua el 29.07.2018
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    GENDER AND WATER MANAGEMENT
    Luis Luján Cárdenas, journalist and sociologist
    Ideology is the set of ideas that characterizes the thinking of a person or social group in a specific place and time. Gender refers to the relationships between women and men based on socially defined roles, which are assigned to one sex or the other.

    The ideology of gender equality points out that sexuality characterizes men and women not only on the physical plane, but also on the psychological, intellectual, social and spiritual levels, and both genders are complementary and equal and should have similar rights and rights. duties recognized and promoted by the State in a democratic society. In contrast, gender ideology raises various forms of sexuality. It surpasses the male and female paradigm related to biological nature, sustaining that they are cultural and conventional constructions subject to change.

    Given these concepts, it is necessary to know that the Peruvian State assumed a commitment to equality and gender equity in the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing, 1995), in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1981) ) and the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women - Convention of Belém do Pará (Brazil 1994)

    In the 2002, the National Agreement approved the State Policy N ° 11 on Promotion of equal opportunities without discrimination. Previously, in the 2000 the Promudeh (the first name of the Ministry of Women) approved the first National Plan for Equal Opportunities between Women and Men 2000-2005. The National Gender Equality Plan 2012-2017 is currently in force, which incorporates Law N ° 28983, Equal Opportunities Law for Women and Men (2007)

    Applying the gender approach is an obligation of international law that allows public policy decision makers to obtain a holistic vision that is closer to the social reality, generating social conditions of equality.

    Today we talk about gender and water management. Integrated water resources management (IWRM) recognizes and promotes the gender approach, given that water has a transversal and social character.

    The ultimate goal is gender equality and equity, as stated in the 1992 Dublin Declaration (Principle N ° 3: "Women play a fundamental role in water supply, management and protection") at the Conference International Conference on Water and the Environment (CIAMA), and subsequently, the United Nations.

    In Peru, unfortunately, there is still no national water policy with a gender focus (as is also the case with climate change). The Law 29338 of Water Resources does not contemplate it. In that sense it is vital to consider it to strengthen the National Water Authority (ANA), the Basin Water Resources Councils, the IWRM, and build water governance with social justice and democracy.
    Published in IAgua (Spain) 29 / 05 / 2018
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