The concept of governance provides a useful tool for rethinking gendered patterns of access to water and water management within the ambit of broader social relations and organizational structures. Women's participation is seen as integral to these new institutions not only because there is gender division of roles and responsibilities in relation to water collection, but also because there is an implicit assumption that women's involvement is empowering for them and will lead to more sustainable and gender-equitable outcomes. Underlying or masking this process of state "accumulation and dispossession is the language of growth with equity and justice, which presents us with a somewhat hybrid agenda of neoliberal reform in the water sector. At the core of this process of institutional restructuring is the realization that water is no longer a free good and that decentralized management is the only way to ensure sustainable, equitable and efficient water delivery.