Monday, March 8, 2010

Happy International Women's Day!

Great post on International Women's Day from GWC's Tanvi Nagpal:

At this very moment, millions of women are carrying 40 pounds of water on the return leg of their average 3.5-mile daily trek.

So today, on International Women's Day, I want to pay tribute to the resiliency of these women, and highlight the collective possibility they embody -- if freed from the back-breaking and time-consuming burden of collecting water.

Clean water programs supported by GWC member organizations are helping women, like Nakwetikya in Tanzania, regain their sense of self-worth. Once Nakwetikya joined the committee overseeing the local well supported by GWC member WaterAid, she noticed a drastic shift in attitude toward women:

"Before we formed a [water] committee and prepared ourselves as a community, men just saw women as animals. I think they thought of us as bats flapping around them. They had no respect for us and no one would allow you to speak or listen to what you had to say. When I stand up now in a group I am not an animal. I am a woman with a valid opinion."

Read more success stories like Nakwetikya's and learn about the impact of water and sanitation programs on women in developing countries.

Providing women with access to a nearby source of clean water frees up their days to earn an income -- which can help significantly elevate their status in the community. And when women are employed, they are more likely to spend their money on medical care and education for their children, thus opening up new opportunities for even more people.

You can help bring clean water to women around the world by participating in the Dow Live Earth Run for Water on April 18th. The Dow Live Earth Run for Water is a series of six-kilometer run/walks with concerts afterwards in cities around the world over the course of 24 hours. GWC will receive funds raised in the United States and invest these funds so that women and girls can have a better shot at fulfilling their potential.

Register to run now in the Dow Live Earth Run for Water. I hope you are able to participate in what will be the largest event ever to raise awareness and funds about the critical issue of clean water.

Thanks for your support,

Tanvi Nagpal
Director of Water and Sanitation Initiatives
Global Water Challenge

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