“Human issues are women’s issues, and women’s issues are human issues.” In the mail today came another reminder of the truth of this motto: “Women, Water and Violence,” the fourth week of the Ecumenical Water Network’s series of information, resources and meditations for Lent focusing on the connections between water, conflict, and peace with justice around the globe.
“Women, Water and Violence” reminds us that fetching water is women’s, and girls’, work.
It’s a lot of work. (The Water Page estimates an average S. African household needs two trips of water at 2 km/trip for a total of 4 km/walk and 2 hours of total time daily.) Girls fortunate enough to go to school have to fit their studies in after their water-fetching chores are done.
Moreover, violence sometimes goes with the territory. Women and girls fetching water are targets for sexual harassment or rape. Water can also become a prop in situations of domestic violence, as a pretext or a mechanism for exerting power and control.
Water – a basic human need – and a women’s issue.
“Human issues are women’s issues, and women’s issues are human issues.”
The “Women, Water and Violence” site includes a video, informational resources, a meditation on the connection of these water issues to scripture, and suggestions for action.