The strain of walking long distances for water often falls squarely on the shoulders of women.
Surveys from 45 developing countries show that in the majority of households, women and children bear the primary responsibility for collecting water, hauling it an average of six kilometers a day. Women in Sub-Saharan Africa alone spend 40 billion hours per year collecting water. (That's equivalent to a year’s worth of labor by the entire workforce of France!)
But here's the good news. For water projects to be sustainable, communities must be integral in establishing their own water solution. When they are, it allows us to cultivate new generations of community leaders. Water projects that involve women in this planning and management process are proven even more likely to succeed.
As we celebrate International Women's Day, take time to reflect. Water is a women's issue, but it doesn't have to be. Empower women in the developing world today by supporting sustainable clean-water programs. Learn more, then show your support at water.cc/donate.