10 Facts on Women and Water

  1. Women and children fetch the majority of water for household uses in rural areas. Often this keeps them from attending school or working at a job.
  2. The average distance that women and children walk for water in Africa and Asia is six kilometers (3.7 miles).
  3. Women carry heavy loads of water (about 20 liters) on their heads in some locations in the world. This causes severe damage to the neck and spine over time.
  4. Women make most household water and sanitation decisions, but they are rarely invited to be involved in planning or management of water and sanitation systems.
  5. Water projects that involve women in planning and management are proven more likely to succeed.
  6. In many places in the world, women’s land rights are not recognized, and they are unable to access water for agricultural uses.
  7. On average, women work twice as long as men for unpaid work (housework, cleaning, cooking, washing, etc.) than men.
  8. Women are primary caretakers of the millions of children that fall ill each year from water-related illnesses. This reduces time spent working or on education.
  9. For mothers and pregnant women, an improved water supply and proper water storage is essential to protect lives and ensure good health.
  10. Women are under-represented in water and sanitation sector jobs with men having most jobs in this field.

Above Photo: Generations of women and girls.

3 thoughts on “10 Facts on Women and Water

  1. Isn’t it amazing? So. California has always been concerned about water… but not like most of the facts here. I live on other’s abundance.

  2. The over 3 miles average walk for water seems much. Where is this figure from? The NFHS-3 survey in India reports about 20 minutes of walk, which would not be enough for walking 3.6 miles, unless about 5-6 trips are made.

  3. Hi, Anupam. A WSSCC report states the average distance for women in developing countries to walk for water is six kilometers (about 3.7 miles). See this document: http://www.genderandwater.org/page/5124. These figures represent an average. Women may walk up to nine miles for water in some places in Africa. See this article: http://allafrica.com/stories/200806120757.html. But you’re right. Sometimes women may not walk as far for water but make more trips daily.

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