I stumbled into this marvelous and original fashion editorial today, a 2013 collaboration between Miami-based photographer Natasha Kertes and Sudanese model Anai Ekalino. ‘The Story of Aquarius’ is an excellent example of AOC’s mission of ‘felling women’s stories, from fashion to flogging’.
The fetching of the water has long been mostly the work of women and children in the developing world. Surveys from 45 developing countries confirm that women and children get the water in 76% of households. Surveys from Africa confirm that women and girls get 90% of the wood and water, devoting up to 6 hrs. each day doing it.
Let me take a few moments to talk about water as a women’s empowerment issue.
Water.org shares these water facts:
Women also struggle most from the lack of adequate sanitation, the often unspoken part of the water and sanitation crisis. The sanitation crisis for women can be summed up in one word: ‘dignity.’ Around the world, fewer than one person in three has access to a toilet. In many countries, it is not acceptable for a woman to relieve herself during the day. They wait hours for nightfall, just to have privacy. This impacts health and puts their safety at risk. About half of all girls worldwide attend schools without toilets. The lack of privacy causes many girls to drop out when they reach puberty.
The dual aspects of the water crisis – lack of water and of sanitation – lock women in a cycle of poverty. They cannot attend school; they cannot earn an income.
Based on the success of women’s microlending, NGOs and philanthropic organizations are working to help women take out small loans for household water connections and toilets, as well as a central well in their community.