With the Fourth of July right around the corner, it’s hard not to feel deep gratitude for the freedoms we experience every day in a developed country. Yet, some of our daily tasks don’t even register as freedoms because they are basic human rights, and we assume all humans have them. For example, the freedom of turning on a faucet and having an abundance of purified water at our finger tips is something we often take for granted.
In the developing world, many communities still don’t have the resources or the means to access clean water, and they still walk miles every day to draw water that isn’t even safe. Healing Waters is working to change this and currently serves over 320 communities where the women and children specifically experience freedom in ways they haven’t before because of the work we are doing. Here are four examples of how clean water can provide freedom to women and children in rural communities.
- Clean water frees women’s time exponentially.
According to UNICEF, women and children world-wide spend approximately 200 million hours collecting water per day. No one should ever have to spend eight hours of their day collecting water, and just imagine if women and children were freed from that reality. Young girls could enjoy their childhood, teenage girls could stay in school, women could pursue a career and spend more time with their children, and vitality would be brought back to their homes and lives.
- Clean water frees women from water-borne illnesses.
Did you know a water-related illness claims a human life every ninety seconds? It is, in fact, according to World Health Organization (WHO), the world’s leading killer. As tragic as that number is, we know there is a solution! We can free people from the sorrow, pain, and loss through providing them with sustainable, clean water. Through clean water, the chance of contracting water borne illnesses decreases exponentially. Young girls can then grow into strong women who have a restored sense of dignity and purpose.
- Clean water frees women from misconceptions about feminine hygiene.
The topic of feminine hygiene is taboo in many developing countries, and inadequate menstrual hygiene is rampant in the developing world. One area specifically women aren’t educated in is the use of sanitary feminine hygiene products. In our Health and Hygiene Program, we help women in developing countries understand the importance of using clean water in feminine hygiene and in the importance of the use of sanitary products. By providing them with this information, they are less likely to contract diseases due to unsafe hygiene products, feel more comfortable with their bodies, and are more likely to stay in school.
- Lastly, clean water frees women from the pressure to be the sole water providers in their families.
According to WHO, women and girls are responsible for water collection in eight out of ten households with water off premises. So, reducing the population with limited drinking water services will have a strong gender impact.
Would you consider donating today to help women around the world experience the human right of clean water?