July 10, 2010

Water: It’s About Women

Many people don’t realize that water in the developing world is a women’s issue.  Why do I mean by that?  Women and girls are responsible for getting water for their families.  They spend much of their waking hours walking miles to get water–water that can be deadly.  Young women who have heard me talk about life in Niger say, “Why do they accept that?”  “Why don’t they make the men do more?”  These are questions that are not surprising, coming from activist, equal rights women who see injustice and want to right it.  They find it hard to accept the fact that this is the tradition of these Muslim women, generations of women who don’t question their roles.

Are they angry, resentful? Absolutely! Do they have hope for a better life?  Absolutely.  They know that if is drilled in their village,  their time is freed up, they can get a micro-loan and begin to earn money.  It is a joy to see that happen and you can see and hear it on the 14 minute version of our video if you haven’t watched it yet.  Like women everywhere, they take pride in having their own money to spend, relieved that they don’t have to ask their husbands for it.  Our partner, World Vision, gives micro-loans only to women because they know that it is the women who pay back the loans.

The former Director of World Vision Niger, Hortense Palm, has said, “To educate girls is to educate the whole nation.”  Women are the greatest hope of countries like Niger and with our wells, we bring them HOPE for their future.


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