Sustainable Development Goal 6 is all about ensuring the availability of water and sanitation for all. In 2015, 29 per cent of the global population lacked safely managed drinking water making it worse for living. But, do you know/understand the struggle of women in collecting water for their daily survival?
It is often overlooked when women risk their lives on a daily basis to provide safe water for their family. It is underwhelming to say that women around the world collectively spend 200 million hours a day finding and collecting water. And in the process, the lose the opportunity of going to school forcing them to end up as illiterates while men have the advantage in this aspect of going out to learn.
In order to find the balance, “Empowering women is critical to solving the water crisis,” Rosemary Gudelj, senior adviser of public affairs at the non-profit organization Water.org, told Global Citizen.
It is understandable that women were ill-treated and were not given the wings to fly. But here are some of the 5 powerful young women who took this as an opportunity to let the world know what they are capable of, in their own ways to deal with different water problems.
Mari Copeny is also known as “Little Miss Flint” who rose to National fame for the kind of work she has done during the 2014 Flint water crisis in the United States. The 11-year-old became the voice of her community and wrote a letter to President Barack Obama who visited Mari house later. 5 years down the line, the city of Flint is still reeling under water crisis but, the supply of water to the state has gradually improved from worse to drinkable stage.
An Undergraduate student at the University of Massachusetts, Varshini Prakash grew up in Boston while her grandparents are from Chennai, India. Varshini was keen and involved in the climate change movement and the 2015 Chennai Floods changed her perception towards availability of water and unpredictable climate change which made her to Co-Found Sunrise Movement which aims to protect environmental resources like water and air by promoting solar energy.
“My nightmares are full of starving children and land that is too sick to bear food, of water that poisons that which it should heal, and of seas that are ever more creeping on our shores,” she said during a speech she gave at a climate change protest in Washington, DC, in 2018, according to the New Yorker
Georgie Badiel is a fashion model who used to spend 3 hours collecting water when she was young at Burkina Faso, a country in the West Africa that has no good access to water. It became extremely difficult for Georgie when her sister got pregnant, but still had to wake up in the middle of night to get water. The situation made Georgie look beyond and inspired her to do something that will be remembered for years to follow.
Georgie Badiel launched the Badiel Foundation back in 2015 which has made water accessible to over 100,000 people by constructing wells in local. In 2016, Badiel also co-wrote the educational children’s book The Water Princes about her experience growing up without clean drinking water.
“Right now, my biggest dream is to provide access to clean water to every person in my country Burkina Faso. I created this social project Georgie Water that will give back to the cause,” Badiel told Forbes.
13-year old from Anishinaabe tribe of Canada has addressed to launch the International Decade for Action titled “Water for sustainable development 2018-2028 focusing on providing clean drinking water for all.
Autumn Peltier at a very young age started educating people living in their community in Canada about what it takes to have access to clean drinking water. She also used to be the voice of her community and spoke at various events to educate people around protecting their right for water.
After advocating for water protection at the UN General Assembly, and meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Peltier isn’t slowing down anytime soon. The 2016 International Children’s Peace Prize nominee told the BBC, “I want to be prime minister or minister of environment.” Stella Bowle
What started as a school project that made Stella to test the water samples of a river made her realize that she found fecal matter in the water which garnered national attention that rose her to fame when she was 14 years old. Bowles posted her discovery on Facebook and it went viral with information shared by many others which prompted the government to release $15 million fund to clean up the river.
Stella Bowles always believed that she has the potential to make the difference. “I hope it can show them that your age shouldn’t put a limit on what you can do,” Bowles told CBC. “Age is just a number.”