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The role of women in water care



International Women's Day is a date celebrated every year on March 8, to commemorate the struggle for women's rights and gender equality. For decades, women have played an important role in protecting water, an essential resource for human life and the planet as a whole.

According to the United Nations, 71% of the population without access to safe drinking water are women and girls. Women are often the main water collectors in rural and  peri-urban areas, which means a great deal of physical effort and time that could be devoted to other activities. In addition, women are the main caregivers of water in households, ensuring its efficient and responsible use.

Women have also been leaders in water protection locally and globally. A prominent example is the struggle of women in the village of San Pedro, in the state of Puebla, Mexico, who succeeded in suspending a mining project that threatened the water supply in their community.  Thanks to the organization and resistance of women, it will be adapted to protect the water and the territory of the community.

Another example is that of Wangari Maathai, an environmental activist from Kenya and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004, who led the creation of the "Green Belt" movement to plant trees and protect her country's water resources. Through her work, Maathai promoted women's participation in decision-making and water management. According to the 2021 United Nations World Water Development Report, women's participation in water management can have a positive impact on sustainability and equity in water management.

The report notes that where women are involved in water management, there has been greater efficiency in water use, improved health and nutrition of families, and reduced vulnerability to drought and other natural disasters. International Women's Day is an opportunity to recognize the critical role women have played in protecting water. Women have been leaders in the management and conservation of this essential resource, and their active participation in decision-making in water management is critical to ensuring a sustainable future for all.

There is a need to continue promoting gender equality and empowering women in water management, thus ensuring equal access to this vital resource.



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