Jamila Bargach—Campbell Resident Scholar
“Harvesting the Clouds: Fog Collection Technology and Gender Equality in a Berber Village, Morocco”
“By harvesting water through fog free of charge and tailoring a water-rights program that involves women, my project directly addresses gender equality,” said Jamila Bargach, the first recipient of the Vera Campbell Fellowship, which is designated for a female social scientist from a developing nation whose work addresses women’s economic and social empowerment in that nation. The fog-harvesting project in the drought-stricken Aït Baamrane region on the Southern Atlantic coast of Morocco at the center of Bargach’s research has great promise for providing substantial amounts of water, which is important for more than the obvious reasons. “The traditional distribution of social roles within these Berber villages decrees that women and girls fetch water and tend to animals’ needs. Fetching water alone requires between three and five hours per day. This represents a tremendous amount of lost opportunity for women and girls, who could use that time for education, training, or other more productive work. There is the ability through this technology to make it easier for them, so why not do it?” said Bargach.
From the Interview...
“My first question was one they [the members of the research team] had never thought of. I asked how they were organizing the water distribution. I am conceptualizing a system for water distribution and regulation that fosters a participatory managing model in which women are the active stakeholders, the ultimate goal being the promotion of gender equality.”
On the Vera Campbell Fellowship...
“The work that I want to do is about dignity, and not dictating the terms of change.”—Jamila Bargach“For a woman coming from Morocco, in mid-career where you have to shoulder a lot of responsibility, professional as well as personal, it is sometimes difficult to have the time to do the work that would further your personal career, and then serve the community that you’re working with or the cause you’re working for. For me, the Vera Campbell Fellowship was absolutely instrumental. It provided time to gain perspective, the intellectual community here at SAR, extraordinary personal mentorship, and support for publicizing the work.”
Find out more about Jamila Bargach by visiting the SAR website (opens in new browser window).