This past week, several high officials and specialists took part in an international conference whose end goal was that of pinning-down what progress had so far been made in terms of putting an end to the on-going global water crisis.
As well as this, efforts were made to come up with new and more efficient solutions for this problem.
Still, one very interesting issue was brought up by the deputy director of U.N. Women, Lakshmi Puri, who wished to point out that, as far as developing countries are concerned – those in Africa, in particular – putting an end to the water crisis needs to also be linked to making sure that the women and girls living in these regions of the world have their human rights respected.
Apparently, women all throughout the poorly developed regions of Africa are forced to spend a total of 200-million hours per day collecting water, in order to support both their families and local agriculture.
As one can easily imagine, this means that they hardly ever get to benefit from education, simply because, rather than going to school, they are forced to spend most of their day providing the communities they live in with this very precious, yet scarce resource.
Moreover, this situation keeps them from becoming actively involved in dealing with administrative issues, even if the hands-on experience they more often than not possess could yield significant benefits when it comes to taking informed decisions concerning development. Inter Press Service
informs us that, although women in Africa are actively involved in boosting local agriculture, their “carrying heavy buckets of water every day” means that men are the ones left to make most of the administrative decisions.
Lakshmi Puri points out that, “This does not only result in biased and misinformed decision-making, it jeopardises the achievement of women’s human rights.”
Therefore, a better management of our existing water resources is not just about making sure that our global food industry avoids a potential crisis, but also about pushing for human rights in general, and women's rights in particular.