Poverty is Sexist
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This month's curator

Matt Damon

Actor and Co-founder, Water.org

My daughters do not know what it is to spend hours collecting water.  My girls may suffer the occasional stomach upset, maybe even miss a day of school because of it, but they will never lay dehydrated and dying with only the water available, the very same water that made them sick in the first place. Before I went to Haiti, India and Ethiopia and saw these situations firsthand, I would have found them unfathomable.

Today, nearly 750 million people live without access to safe drinking water, and 2.5 billion people lack improved sanitation. This must change. As a father and a husband, I realize how important having access to safe water and sanitation are, especially for women and children—the people who bear the biggest burden of this crisis.

The coping costs of not having sustained access to safe water are enormous and largely undocumented. People are drinking water and paying huge costs to do so. Women and children spend 140 million hours per day collecting water for their families, often from polluted sources. They buy from water vendors or spend hours walking to sources and hauling the water back. They drink water of questionable safety, become ill, adding medical costs, and missed work to the economic burdens they already bear. They cannot go to school or work with the majority of their time spent securing the family’s daily water supply. Can you imagine what could be accomplished if those 140 million hours were recaptured? If all the money spent on buying water was redirected into the water and sanitation supply system?

Given that women and children bear the greatest burden, it comes as no surprise that women are the champions of their households and communities when it comes to obtaining access to a safe, sustained water supply and improved sanitation. I have seen the strength and determination of women who want to change the future for their families. These women form committees and coalitions and they apply for loans through our WaterCredit program. These loans empower women to make choices that best work for them, their families and their communities. They take out small loans as individuals or larger loans as a community. They install wells, build bathrooms, buy rain barrel systems, or tap into the local water infrastructure.

I want to see the day all women have the opportunity to realize their potential. I want children to stop dying at a rate of one every minute from a preventable water-related illness. Join me and help solve this crisis, in our lifetime.

31 girls 31 days 31 hopes for the future

Click on the girl of the day's photo to read about her hopes for girls around the world.

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Every girl has a vision for her future and the world she lives in. In honor of International Day of theGirl, ONE Girls and Women is launching 31 girls in 31 days to share these hopes and dreams.

Click on the girl of the day's photo to read about her hopes for girls around the world.

Check ONE Girls and Women each day for #31hopes from girls, for girls around the world.

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Be the Change

There’s no doubt that the world has made a lot of progress in the last several years, but for girls and women, there’s still work to do.

Check out our great partners below who are doing important work on this issue.

QUICK FACTS

  • 140 million:

    the amount of hours women and children around the world spend collecting water every day

  • 750 million people

    don’t have access to safe water

  • Every minute

    a child dies of a water-related disease

#ONEderWoman of the Week

#ONEderWoman of the Week: Eden Full

#ONEderWoman of the Week: Eden Full

Canada native, Eden Full, is no stranger to solar energy issues. When she was 14, she built a solar panel “tree” after studying how effective trees are at absorbing sunlight. After working on a wide range of research projects, Eden designed and built the SunSaluter. SunSaluter has since become its own organization, focusing on delivering a revolutionary solar tracking system to communities struggling to afford electricity.

One big issue facing developing countries is the lack of cheap solar tracking systems. As the sun moves overhead, solar tracking systems keep the panel constantly facing the sun. Panels without a tracking system are 30% less effective. For families relying on solar panels, this can be the difference between heating food and keeping the lights on so that children can do their homework. Enter the SunSaluter, which uses a mechanical water clock to help solar panels receive the maximum amount of sunlight. Doubling as a water filter, the SunSaluter is a cheap, simple solution to solar energy efficiency for communities struggling to afford electricity.

Eden’s work has been featured in Forbes, the New York Times, and NPR. You can find out more about the award winning SunSaluter, Eden, her team, and their amazing work here!

Nominate Your Own #ONEderWoman

If you know a girl or woman who is doing something awesome for the world, please nominate her by providing us with a brief description of what she’s doing and link for where we can find more info!

NOMINATE WITH A TWEET OR SEND US HER INFO
We just got a letter from Prime Minister Trudeau!
Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 8.46.10 AM
Samantha Urban
August 25, 2016

We hope other countries will #LeadLikeTrudeau, both in their commitment to gender equality and to supporting the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.

I wholeheartedly agree: Poverty is Sexist.
jtf
Guest Blogger
August 25, 2016

Thank you for the letter you sent to me on International Women’s Day and for calling on world leaders to recognise the indisputable link between gender inequality and extreme poverty.

Gambia has outlawed child marriage
Photo credit: Ferdinand Reus/Wikimedia Commons
Mollie Birer
August 2, 2016

This great news is just one small victory in a much larger battle: The Gambian government must now implement this law and enforce its provisions to ensure that its girls are not forced into marriage as children.

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Disclaimer: Comments from guest writers, partners, and curators on this page are solely the opinion of these groups and individuals and do not necessarily represent the opinions of ONE or ONE employees. ONE is not responsible for content on external websites nor does such linking constitute an official endorsement or approval of linked external sites and their content and availability.

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