Water is the common thread to alleviate barriers to women’s empowerment in communities of need.

Women often have fewer opportunities, including those related to education and employment, greater health risks, more responsibility in their homes and diminished voices in their communities.

We know that water is essential to life. We also know that reliable access to clean water unlocks the potential and improves the well-being of women and their families through eight key pathways.

Findings from a recent study further substantiated the evidence that water access is transformative in the lives of women, their families and communities.

Large-scale support is now urgently required to scale-up this impact.

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Together,
we can help break down barriers
and transform lives for good.

Join our community
raising awareness and funds
for women to access clean water.
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Together,
we can help break down barriers
and transform lives for good.

Join our community
raising awareness and funds
for women to access clean water.

With access to clean water, women become change agents in society.

These women are reinvesting in their communities in many ways:

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Prioritizing the health and education of her children.
Supporting those unable to support themselves.
Returning 90% of her income to the local economy.
Fully participating in socio-economic value chains.
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Water is a force multiplier
– enabling cultural shifts in gender norms.

In 2018, the Water and Development Alliance (WADA) partnered with Ipsos to understand the many ways improved access to water access, sanitation and hygiene impacts women, their families and communities.
Key Pathways to Empowerment were identified and demonstrate the critical ways access to water impacts women and girls across the developing world.

With access to clean water, women become change agents in society.

These women are reinvesting in their communities in many ways:

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Prioritizing the health and
education of her children
why-img2
Supporting those unable to support themselves
why-img3
Returning 90% of her income to the local economy
why-img4
Fully participating in socio-economic value chains
home-generic-banner

Water is a force multiplier
– enabling cultural shifts in gender norms.

In 2018, the Water and Development Alliance (WADA) partnered with Ipsos to understand the many ways improved access to water access, sanitation and hygiene impacts women, their families and communities.
Key Pathways to Empowerment were identified and demonstrate the critical ways access to water impacts women and girls across the developing world.
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pathway
women + water
empowerment
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health
Access to WASH and water is linked
to improved reproductive health and
personal hygiene, decreased
gender-based violence, household
cleanliness, and reduced disease
risk.
Improved household health and
water access increases personal
confidence and enables women to
spend more time on income
generation, education, housework,
rest and leisure, and participating in
the community.
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income
Lower water costs, water-related
trainings, and time savings create
opportunities for women to save
money and seek income-generating
activities and entrepreneurship.
Income generation and greater
control of assets improve
decision-making power within the
household and lead to confidence,
respect, and and the potential for a
shift in gender roles.
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nutrition
Women and girls can be most
affected by negative coping
mechanisms during food shortages.
A stable food supply from improved
irrigation technologies has a
disproportionately positive effect on
their nutrition.
Food security and nutrition is closely
linked to health. Improved nutrition
enables women to spend more time
pursuing education and other
economically empowering activities.
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safety + security
Women and girls collecting water
often face safety and harassment
issues when water or sanitation
sources are not placed thoughtfully
within the community.
Lower risk of harassment and
violence improves freedom of
movement, which supports
participation in education,
employment, and leadership roles.
Lower stress and fear increase
women’s ability or willingness to
participate in the community and
improve self-confidence.
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education
Adequate WASH access in school
improves student health and
supports menstrual hygiene
management. This increases
attendance, attainment, and
achievement of girls in school.
Educated girls have better job
prospects and a greater capacity to
generate income, which can improve
their decision-making power in the
household and community.
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leadership + skills
Including women and girls in WASH
interventions, such as water users
associations, leads to skills
development, leadership
opportunities, and enhances their
role and voice in important elements
of the intervention.
Leadership in the intervention
strengthens women’s power within
their households and community,
and weakens taboos against
women’s control over resources.
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time savings
Close proximity to water resources
reduces time spent on water
collection by women and girls, who
are often responsible for collecting
water.
Saved time can be spent on various
activities, including education,
income generation and
entrepreneurship, rest and leisure,
and community participation. This
can lead to increased income,
self-efficacy, confidence, and
leadership.
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shifting roles + norms
Saved time can be spent on various
activities, including education,
income generation and
entrepreneurship, rest and leisure,
and community participation. This
can lead to increased income,
self-efficacy, confidence, and
leadership.
62% increase in perceived male
respect for women in communities.
37% of women report they have
taken on new household
decision-making responsibilities,
either solely or jointly with their
spouse.
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Learn more about how you can get involved to advance empowerment for women through water in each of these areas

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