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Celebrating Mothers and Recognizing their Sanitation and Water Burdens

12 May 2017


As Mother’s Day is celebrated on Sunday in 86 countries across the world, from the US to Bhutan to Tanzania, we recognize mothers’ contributions to their families, societies and countries, and the burden that so many of them still have to shoulder in dealing with vastly inadequate water and sanitation facilities.

SWA partners are working to change that. Our vision is a world where all women are encouraged to share their knowledge and participate in political decisions related to water, sanitation and hygiene. A world where they no longer haveto collect water for up to six hours a day and instead spend it generating income, caring for their families, going to school or simply pursuing their other needs and aspirations. This world is possible and why the Sustainable Development Goal, calling for universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water and sanitation services, is at the heart of the SWA partnership’s work.


Key data

- Millions of women and girls must trek up to six hours a day to bring vital supplies of water to their families and communities.

- 8 out of 10 people who lack access to drinking water live in rural areas, adding to women’s burden of travelling significant distances to collect supplies

- One in three (2.4 billion) people still lack adequate sanitation facilities and one in eight people (946 million) practice open defecation, with hygiene and personal safety often at risk for the many women involved.

- As girls, a lack of basic menstrual sanitation means that millions missed school for up to a quarter of the year, putting them at a further disadvantage for escaping poverty during their adulthood.