2 posts tagged women
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.
In the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, dignity, equality, security, and freedom of thought are all acknowledged. But what about water access? With over 1 billion people in the world not having access to safe drinking water and millions dying each year from lack of water with basic sanitation, one could argue that fresh water access is a universal human right. This essential right is the focus of the Women and Water Rights exhibition.
There are over 50 artists that have contributed to the exhibit, drawing their inspiration from water insufficiency and its lengthy history. The exhibit, Women and Water Rights: Rivers of Regeneration, first premiered in February 2010 at the Regis Center for Art at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. During its run, it was very effective at highlighting the importance of water accessibility for all people around the world. The project continues with Women and Water Rights: Concerning Water, an exhibit at the Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, WI, running through July 22, 2012 . Featuring work by local, national, and international artists, water as a right serves as the inspiration, subject, and material for the various pieces of art.