Access to Water and gender inequality remain a major issue in developing countries.
‘Water is fundamental for life and health. The human right to water is indispensable for leading a healthy life in human dignity. It is a prerequisite to the realization of all other human rights.’ As declared by United Nations Committee on Economic, Cultural and Social Rights and as a result, Water for Health was clearly declared a Human Right by the World Health Organization on December 4, 2002.
But this right remains out of reach for many or fully or partially. On closer examination, one finds that there is a very close relationship between water issues and women issues. In rural areas in India, women are the main domestic managers of resources including water. Collection of water by a group of women remains a source of socialization and need fulfillment and therefore occupies a central place in their life. Women also play a major role in managing the communal water supply but their influence rarely goes beyond their homes or villages.
Agenda 21 mentions that, ‘Women are the main food producers and the environment’. Women play a vital role in development of backward places. They have a role in sustainable use of land and agricultural practices in rural areas. Women’s water-related tasks at home are numerous. When water sources are far from their homes, unclean, or in short supplies, women are the first to suffer. This is turn causes problems to their families.
This short note goes to clarify the relation between water and women. Both give us life and both sustain it.