All over the planet, household chores are still being done by mostly women: Women are taking care of their families’ essential needs (laundry, dishes, hygiene, children’s health needs), and they have a special relationship with water and are often in charge of the family water supply.
From fetching water from the river to getting pressurized water, women in Europe have used fountains, communal areas for handwashing laundry, wells, containers of water…
In areas where clean water is hard to find, women and girls spend 90% of their time doing household tasks (finding wood, transporting and sterilizing water, preparing meals), time in which men and boys can develop their potential doing social, economical, or political activities. Hours of walking and carrying heaving loads lead to fatigue and physical suffering which have consequences on the women’s and girl’s health: feet injuries, falls, disorders that stem from carrying heavy loads… In addition, when they embark on these journeys alone, they can become victims of violence, sexual or other, and this danger is heightened by the lack of clean water that forces women to travel farther from home.
Not only are so many women unable to get a basic education that would give them more possibilities in life, but they must also care for family members who suffer from illnesses caused by unsafe drinking water. The lack of water has disastrous consequences on girls’ education and their ability to lead economically and politically productive lives, which would guarantee that they live up to their potential.
A vicious cycle is taking place: Women are under-represented in public administration (politics) and in intellectual organizations (universities) in many societies.
So who will make sure that decision-makers respect their rights, including the fundamental right to clean water and sanitation?
The universal right to clean drinking water would have positive consequences on the health of billions of people, and it would also contribute to a radical change in the woman’s place in many societies.
These beliefs have led to these two workshops “Women and Water.”
On 15th and 16th March there will be workshops on the “Women and Water” topic:
- Thursday March 15 – 3.30pm to 6pm at Dock des Suds A
Water: Holding back emancipation?
1. Senegal: Meeting women in rural areas.
2. Showing the other side of women in DR Congo.
3. Water, a vital element of life.
4. Unequal sharing of water in Palestine.
5. Brazil: 1000 water sources – 1000 water tanks.
- Friday March 16 – 3.30pm to 6pm at Dock des Suds A
The role of women in water management
1. Instability in a big city: Marseille.
2. Uganda: Women taking responsibility.
3. Morocco: Community water management.
4. Water and decontamination systems in rural areas – Songpelsé (Burkina Faso).
5. Technology used to create access to water, impact on health and water management. Passing down expertise.