Water Survey, a matter of water

Empowering Women with Water

10 Comments 03 December 2010

Empowering Women with Water

Promoting gender equality and empowering women is the third Millennium Development Goal (MDG) to be reached by 2015. The lives of women are particularly affected by access to clean water—or lack thereof. Empowering women in the developing world will require more than micro-finance loans and entrepreneurial efforts. It will require water, and plenty of it.

Peter Harvey, Senior Adviser of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), told WaterWideWeb, “Access to local water resources increases women’s opportunities and raises women’s rights in the developing world”.

In a survey conducted by UNICEF in conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO), survey results found that in 45 developing countries, 76 percent of those who collected water where either women or girls. “Reducing distance traveled or time spent collecting water will benefit women and girls far more than anyone else in the community,” said Harvey.

In sub-Saharan African, 25 percent of the female population spends roughly thirty minutes round trip gathering water on a daily basis. Water supply management at the community level is largely handled by women since their lives are impacted by access to water more than others.

“Clean water is a step toward hygiene promotion, which obviously is primarily linked to reduction to mortality”, continued Harvey. Hygiene within the school environment, at home, and with food is ultimately increased when no clean water is available.

When hygiene and health improve in local communities, women can invest well-being, time and energy saved in their entrepreneurial efforts.

Issues like poor hygiene or walking long distances to find clean water are manifestations of inequality and poverty. Initiatives that tackle infrastructural issues and public health concerns are noble, but a comprehensive action plan that specifically targets women’s hygiene is essential to promoting gender equality and empowering women.

If the end goal of development work is to build up communities, empowering women must not be underestimated. Fulfilling the MDGs will be enhanced if women are put at the forefront of the international development agenda. While experts are developing programs to dig water wells, allocating micro-finance loans and other economic development projects, interests in the sphere of women’s personal hygiene and health should not be overlooked.

Empowering women in all capacities demands an investment in their personal hygiene and health with clean water. A healthy woman is a confident woman. A confident woman is a cornerstone to her community, leading the way to economic prosperity and sustainability.

The photo above is UN Photo taken by Olivier Chassot

If you enjoyed this article, you should also read:

Water Power: Renewable Energy

Bridging Water and Eduction in Kenya

The Biggest Problem of the 21st Century: Water Security

Are MicroFinance Loans on Water Projects in the Developing World Paying Off?

How Can Aid Agencies Reach the Hispanic Community?

Your Comments

10 Comments so far

  1. EMBER says:

    I love this article! Indeed, global access to water and sanitation is a women’s issue. Water For People and Water For People DC are hosting an event on July 13, 2011 to raise funds for Water For People and to honor Women in Water. High profile policymakers and industry experts will gather to raise awareness about the issue.


Share your view

Post a comment



© 2011 WaterWideWeb.org. Powered by WaterWideWeb.