Why women and girls suffer most

In developing countries, the task of fetching water often falls to women and girls.

The distances they must travel and the time can be detrimental to their lives. When there is only unclean water available, their suffering is made worse.

In order to collect water for their family's daily needs, women and girls often need to walk long distances over treacherous terrain while carrying heavy vessels to find the nearest water source. This source might be limited and/or contaminated. 

Then, if family members become sick from dirty water or inadequate sanitation, women and girls are expected to take on carer's roles. This strains their own health and their ability to perform other crucial daily chores.

If girls have to travel long distances to collect water, they frequently miss school. After dark, women and girls can be vulnerable to assault when they are attending to toiletry needs outside. 

As primary water collectors and caregivers, women in many developing countries possess valuable knowledge about water source locations, year round availability of water and what happens when their families become sick from dirty water.

It is therefore critical that women's valuable knowledge be called upon when community water resources are being developed.

To bring about long-term improvements in water and sanitation in developing countries, World Vision recognises the enormous value in drawing upon the expertise of the women and girls in the communities we work with.


TOP LEFT: Girls often miss out on school because they must help their mothers collect water; TOP MIDDLE: In poor communities, women and girls carry the heavy burden of collecting water for their families; TOP RIGHT: Ever since she was young, it has been Satchanthon's job to collect water for her family; BOTTOM: In the Turkana region of Kenya, Iyanae walks long distances over rocky ground to collect water for her family’s needs.