Empowering Women through Water
The UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 5 has set a target of achieving gender equality by 2030. That means we have 12 years to reverse years of gender-based discrimination that persists worldwide— and we can each do our part to help!
Why does it matter?
Gender equality isn’t just a woman’s issue— it’s a fundamental human rights issue that impacts everyone, everywhere. Giving women and girls equal rights could improve the health of society in virtually every area, from reducing poverty to improving health, education, and the protection of girls and boys.
What can we do to help?
Lots of things contribute to gender inequalities — and in developing countries, a lack of access to safe and sufficient water supplies has a disproportionate effect on the lives of women and girls. That’s why, at the end of 2017, we decided to help solve the water crisis by partnering up with the non-profit organization charity: water. Today, we’re very proud to share that we just completed the project that installed a drilled well with a hand pump in Malawi. Now, 405 residents of the Chikhwawa district have access to clean and safe drinking water.
To increase the sustainability of each project, charity: water’s implementing partner, Water For People, prioritizes meaningful collaboration by asking the local government and communities to contribute to their water and sanitation projects. This co-financing approach promotes community responsibility and long-term functionality.
Malawi is one of the most densely populated and least developed countries in Africa. The majority of the population lives in the tropical countryside where access to clean water is limited. As a result, many women and children spend hours of their day traveling to collect water on behalf of their families. Children in Malawi face a high chance of malnutrition and water-related disease before they even reach age five. Access to clean drinking water and improved sanitation can significantly lower the risk of both.
For women and children in all developing countries, clean water is the first step out of poverty and into the classroom. Having a clean water supply nearby means more girls can stay in school to follow their dreams. Women have more time in a day to start their own businesses or pursue other job opportunities, and the overall health and nutrition of families can improve.
- In Africa alone, women spend 40 billion hours a year walking for water, according to The Millennium Development Goals Report and Progress on Sanitation and Drinking-Water Update
- Another report from UNICEF and the World Health Organization estimates that, in Sub-Saharan Africa, women are responsible for 72% of the water collected.
- But, as research by UNICEF shows, there is a 15% increase in female enrollment when clean water is provided. As charity: water says, “A community gets water, women and girls get their lives back.” In fact, the UN indicates that investing in female education and increasing the age of marriage can return $5 for every dollar spent. Investing in professional advancement programs for women can return $7 dollars for every dollar spent.
Thanks to charity: water and contributions from all the Water Project Sponsors, we’re one step closer to making sure that every single person on the planet has access to clean and safe water. Our contribution was part of a $1,254,276.34 commitment that funded 126 projects and brought clean water to 44,772 people. See more project details here or check it out on a map using this link.
This project, which is funded by the FQ Collection, is part of our goal to advance equality all over the world. A percentage of the proceeds from the collection will allow us to continue giving back with generosity to nonprofits supporting women. You can help bring our mission to life by checking out the collection here.
For more equality news, make sure to read:
Leaders Share Their Favorite Action Steps to #MakeEqualityMoves
In Her Words: 3 Women in Business Creating a More Sustainable World
How Can Women Achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals?