Happy Blog Action Day 2010! If you haven’t heard of this event, let us explain. Today is the day when thousands of blogs back one unified cause. This year, the cause is water. Not familiar with why this is such a major issue? Take a look at what the Blog Action Day website has to say about it:
Lack of Safe Water
Currently, almost a billion people on the planet don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water. That’s one in eight of us. Without safe water people are subject to preventable disease and even death. Water is something that many of us take for granted. Access to clean water is not just a human rights issue. It’s an environmental issue, an animal welfare issue, and a sustainability issue. Water is a global issue, and as a result it affects all of us.
Women and Water
Women are often harmed by the lack of good water more than others. There are many organizations helping women, but the Women’s Earth Alliance decided to specifically focus on helping women get clean, safe drinking water. This organization joined up with A Single Drop and Crabgrass to create the Global Women’s Water Initiative. The GWWI “equips local African women leaders with technology training, business skills, networking support, and seed funding to launch water service projects across Africa that have the potential to become income-generating.”
- According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), “women are most often the collectors, users and managers of water in the household as well as farmers of crops.”
- More than half of the 1.2 billion people who do not have access to water are women and girls.
- When water sources are contaminated or unavailable, women may have to work harder collecting, storing, and protecting their water source.
- The UN estimates that in some parts of Africa, women and children spend up to eight hours a day collecting water.
- For 30 years, the UN has recognized that effective water resources management depends on engaging women at all levels of decision-making. Keeping women from the planning table is a major reason plans don’t work.
- According to the FAO, too often the technologies that women have do not actually meet their needs. This includes pumps that have handles women cannot reach or public wells that are in an inappropriate location.
- Water-related diseases are a common challenge to women, who are often responsible for caring for sick ones and have to step in for those who are ill and unable to work.
- Additionally, women have often been denied their human right to water and are excluded from key decision-making roles. This leads to environmental destruction, deterioration of human health, and the feminization of poverty.
Interested in contributing to the Women’s Earth Alliance and/or its Global Women’s Water Initiative? You can make a donation at the links below:
“We shall not finally defeat AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, or any of the other infectious diseases that plague the developing world until we have also won the battle for safe drinking water, sanitation and basic health care.” – Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General