World Water Day - Did you know?
Fetching water is part of the gender inequality. Check out these statistics from the United Nations Water for Life initiative:
- In rural Benin, girls ages 6-14 spend an average of one hour a day collecting water compared with 25 minutes for their brothers.
- In Malawi, there are large variations in the amount of time allocated for water collection based on seasonal factors, but women consistently spend four to five times longer than men on this task.
- In Tanzania, a survey found school attendance to be 12 per cent higher for girls in homes located 15 minutes or less from a water source than in homes one hour or more away. Attendance rates for boys appeared to be far less affected by distance from water sources.
- In 12% of households children carry the main responsibility for collecting water, with girls under 15 years of age being twice as likely to carry this responsibility as boys under the age of 15 years.
- Research in sub-Saharan Africa suggests that women and girls in low-income countries spend 40 billion hours a year collecting water—the equivalent of a year’s worth of labour by the entire Work force in France.
- In Africa, 90% of the work of gathering water and wood, for the household and for food preparation, is done by women. Providing access to clean water close to the home can dramatically reduce women’s workloads, and free up time for other economic activities. For their daughters, this time can be used to attend school.