Dear, while you’re up, could you hike 10 miles to the nearest water hole and bring back five gallons of filthy water?

We were momentarily surprised to get a pingback from Gender & Water Community (GWC), a blog focused on, in the editors’ words, “sharing gender perspectives in everyday water use.” They’d linked to our recent post about rainmaking. “What the heck does cloud-seeding have to do with gender?” we pondered during our morning time-wasting chatter fest. As it turns out, GWC posts a great deal of water-related news not directly concerned with gender issues.

Reading GWC reminds us anew that women bear a nightmarishly disproportionate burden of the lack of sufficient clean water in developing countries. Sure the men get their fair share of the disease, the parasites, the thirst, the hunger, and the despair, but they — generally speaking—miss out on the schlepping.

For millions of rural women across the globe, supplying their families with a meager quantity of water is an exhausting life- and soul-destroying regime of walking, waiting, and lugging that can take up as much as six hours a day. As WaterAid—an international agency which claims to be “the world’s leading champion of safe water, effective sanitation, and hygiene promotion”—notes in this heartbreaking article:

“In most developing countries the task of collecting water falls to women. In rural Africa women often walk ten miles or more every day to fetch water. In the dry season it is not uncommon for women to walk twice this distance.

The tragedy is that, having spent so much time and effort in reaching a source of water, the water itself is often dirty, polluted and a health hazard.”

After reading the article, invites you to become further outraged by downloading and perusing Women_and_WaterAid_2006, the organization’s informative and well-organized fact sheet.

We also humbly invite you to read our entry, “It’s a hard-knock life.” While embarrassingly overwrought and loopy, it offers links to more resources about the dire world water crisis.


2 Responses

  1. For an interesting counter-point (men “suffer from water gathering”), see this:

  2. […] Simpson of the Waterblogged Blog rightly noted in his post “Dear, while you’re up, could you hike 10 miles to the nearest water hole and bring back five gallo…“that some of the blog posts on our GWC Blog are not entirely related to Gender and Water […]

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