by Lulu Almana
image via swarrick
“We take it completely for granted, and yet it’s a minor miracle when you think about it and the problem is we don’t think about it, we ought to every time we turn on our taps,” remarks water and climate analyst Peter Glieck of the Pacific Institute.
Millions around the world do not have this luxury. Water is a critical women’s rights concern. Around the world, water is a commodity which women and girls are responsible for finding and carrying in buckets back to their homes on a daily basis. This is not just a back-breaking task which sometimes causes spine and pelvic deformities, but carries the threat of sexual and gender-based violence. In regions where water is scarce, it forces women to travel far from home in order to fill their buckets with enough clean water to supply their households for the day. During these long journeys, women and girls face terrifying stories of violence and rape. Victims often become outcasts of their communities. Dry seasons don’t make things easier, and women have to spend more time and travel further to find water. Returning home late has put women at risk of domestic violence and accusations of secret affairs from their husbands.
Some 30% of women in Egypt walk over 1 hour a day to meet water needs. In some parts of Africa, women and children spend 8 hours a day collecting water.On average women and children travel 6-9 miles per day collecting water and carrying up to 44 pounds or 4 gallons per trip.