Saturday, March 08, 2014

Repost for International Women's Day: Women -The Caretakers of Our World In a World of Water and Climate Injustice

Women Lack Access To Safe Drinking Water

Access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation is one of the most important factors regarding economy, health and education in the developing world. And yes, it is also a factor regarding men but for women who suffer from cultural inequality in these areas of the world and who are charged with the rearing of children, farming, household duties, etc. this becomes a much more crucial issue for them and especially for their children. We are now also experiencing more frequent and severe drought, glaciers globally melting faster than predicted that threaten water supplies for billions, landgrabbing and more corporate ownership of the resources necessary for survival and conflicts that threaten access to water and land.

Even now as we enter the 21st Century and eclispe the heights of technological genius we still have not found a way to provide safe drinking water to all our people on Earth even though three quarters of this Earth is covered by it. I say, a world in which three quarters of it is covered with water yet sees its people dying of thirst is a world that has lost its way. Where will this century take us in regards to water issues? Climate? We are certain to see technological advances that go beyond our comprehension in our zeal to "perfect" ourselves and make our world more convenient for the uses we in our arrogance deem necessary to control it. However, in doing so will we lose focus on the one word we need to work on: Humanity? Feeding our people, providing them with water, health, education, opportunity and dignity. These should be the goals that transcend centuries and egos. Please, let it be.

Women and Water: Scarcity, Access and Sanitation.

This is about lack of access to water because of non physical scarcity/pollution that causes disease and preventable death as well as lack of sanitation that affects education and health. The UN Millenium goals for safe drinking water have been met but still fall short. Millenium goals on sanitation however are much harder to reach, but work is being done. This is also a human rights issue and bridging the gap between rich and poor. It will take the global community joining together to solve this crisis and recognizing the rights of women which is a huge part of the solution.

___ Some solutions:

SOLUTION: Declare water to be a global human right.

SOLUTION: Hold chemical and oil companies accountable for their pollution and the toxification of our water globally.

SOLUTION: Stop drilling in our water.

SOLUTION: Fight the privatization of our global water supplies.

SOLUTION: Support sustainable agriculture that conserves water (drip irrigation) and lessens the use of pesticides and fertilizers.

SOLUTION: Speak out about the lack of sanitation because it needs to be known. Support NGOS working to bring dignity to people.

SOLUTION: Support efforts to decrease the emissions that add to the global warming that is bringing about the glacial melt and more frequent droughts and floods that threaten water supplies.

Also see:

The Water Crisis Looms Large Over Our World

Water Facts

WHO: Water, Sanitation And Health

The crisis of sanitation is now even more acute than water access.
The Global Water Crisis- What you can do.

Addition 3-8-14:

We are mothers, lovers, fighters, caretakers, farmers, innovators, diplomats. We are the world. And we are more impacted by climate change/water scarcity in this world and therefore also more passionate about preserving this world's beauty and resources for future generations.

Women and Climate Change


"Family nutrition is directly affected by a woman’s ability to farm. Women farmers grow more than half of all the food in developing countries, and up to 80 percent in parts of Africa, generally in the form of small-scale crops for household consumption. Climate change has already begun to affect agricultural production and, consequently, women’s livelihoods and their ability to support the nutritional needs of their families. Extension efforts need to reach women, who often do not have access to information that would help them make better decisions about how to adapt to climate change.

Women are also the primary collectors of wood for fuel and water for household use. As climate change exacerbates desertification, these resources will become increasingly scarce, and make these tasks more difficult and time-consuming. This may directly affect girls’ ability to attend school, as household chores consume more of their time.

Women are also highly vulnerable to climate change-related natural disasters, and, as recent research has shown, face a significant risk of disaster-related fatalities. Following the 2004 tsunami in Asia, Oxfam International reported that three-quarters of the fatalities in eight Indonesian villages were women and girls. In the second most affected district in India, Cuddalore, the proportion of female fatalities was nearly 90 percent. Furthermore, many of the daily challenges facing women farmers in the developing world, such as the difficulty of accessing credit, tools, training, and technical advice, only increase their vulnerability to climate change."

The solutions to both the climate and water crises lie not in technological fixes that only seek to profit those investing in them. The solutions lie in the ingenuity, passion and wisdom of those who work the land (both men and women) and understand not only our physical relationship to the Earth but our spiritual bond as well. Food sovereignty, food security, water access, defeating the scourge of poverty all hinge on education and inclusion of girls and women in their communities in policy making and leadership. A better world is possible but only if humanity and true equality are at its core.

To all women who struggle for equality and justice I stand with you as your sister in the fight for a better world.

(To my mother who left me and this world too soon who taught me to love, be my own person and speak truth- Thank you- you are always in my heart.)

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