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The Disproportionate Effects of the Global Water Crisis on Women

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

By Sydney Shafer, GWYI Regional Manager 2023

In countries with limited healthy water resources, women and girls are often responsible for fetching water, causing them to travel long distances on foot. In Asia, it is estimated people must walk an average of 6 kilometers (about 3.7 miles) to access clean and safe water. Because of this distance, women and children may sacrifice other opportunities, such as attending school, learning valuable skills, and earning money.

Nepal 2017
Woman fetching water in Nepal 2017

Women's hygienic needs also require water.

In addition to the distance traveled to access clean water, women also have different hygienic needs than men, creating a more significant burden. Since women face other challenges, such as pregnancy and menstruation, they must practice greater cleanliness and use more water. Unfortunately, in many places, their hygienic needs are not met, and many people get sick.

Walking six kilometers a day.

Water is vital to life, and in many communities, the daily commute of walking 6k to fetch water has disproportionately limited other opportunities for women and girls within these communities. Their daily commute could be reduced or eliminated with better accessibility to clean water, and you can help.

Imagine if you had to walk 3.7 miles every day to fetch water.

To emphasize the importance of understanding the disproportionate effects of the global water crisis on women and children, Gravity Water recognizes the average distance walked daily to access clean water and uses this distance for our Walk4Water fundraising events. Community members can walk, run, or hike six kilometers in the Walk4Water events to raise awareness about the global water crisis while better understanding the impact this distance may have on the lives of many women and children.

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