Happy Blog Action Day 2010! In case you are not familiar with this honorable event, today is the day when thousands of blogs advocate for one unified cause. This year, that cause was chosen to be water. If you’re 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:
Right now, almost a billion people on the planet don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water. That’s one in eight of us who are subject to preventable disease and even death because of 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. A sustainability issue. Water is a global issue, and it affects all of us.
Throughout the world, women are disproportionately harmed by the lack of drinkable water. There are many organizations out there helping women in general, but the Women’s Earth Alliance has decided to specifically start focusing on helping women with obtaining clean, safe drinking water. Recently, this valuable organization joined up with A Single Drop and Crabgrass to create the Global Women’s Water Initiativea>a>. As their website states, 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.” Check out these depressing facts about women and their lack of access to good water from their site:a>a>
- 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 be required to expend more labor 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 some 30 years, the UN has repeatedly recognized that effective sustainable water resources management depends on engaging women at all levels of decision-making and implementation. It is now recognized that the exclusion of women from the planning of water supply and sanitation schemes is a major cause of their high rate of failure.
- According to the FAO, too often the technologies that are available to women do not meet their needs, such as pumps that have handles they 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.
- Women have often been denied their human right to water and are continually excluded from key decision-making roles, which has led to environmental destruction, deterioration of human health, and the feminization of poverty.
If you’re 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 highly suggest taking some time out of your day to watch this amazing video of the West African Women and Water Training Program. It is truly inspirational and shows how important this issue really is.
“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