Here I sit, a young woman, having myself a cold glass of water while I am writing about women from way too young ages, up to ages where they should be graduating high school. Women who take up whole days every day just to fetch water for their families. Women who are forced to wait till sundown while everyone else is asleep to relieve themselves. Women being denied a life worth living just because they are women born in desert dry countries.
These women were unfortunate enough to being born into a society and culture where shaming them is seen as normal. This is the case many places, sadly. They struggle all day with these water walks and the discriminating against relieving themselves when it is needed. In Asia and Africa, a countless number of women must walk an average of six kilometers per day to collect enough water for their family in order for them all to survive. In these parts of the world that is what a “woman’s job” is.
The lack of equality in these cases makes it impossible for these girls and women to spend some or any time at or with school. The lack of water makes their life into a question of “survive?” or “not survive?” at a daily basis. This vicious circle makes me think of this part of the text “Thirst” where it says “Artists painted murals of green meadows and fat cows and cloudy days on the sides of our buildings so the children wouldn’t grow up in a world so yellow” [Max Andrew Dubinsky, Thirst, Page 3] The likelihood of this becoming a reality is not low.
What change will be made if they can not get out in the world and contribute to help their families and others with much less rough, but more effective, hours of work per day than spending nearly whole days doing the same walk every day? As “The Importance of Water” says; it is not only about empowering women, but also economics. It has been proven that countries with increasingly more women working, becomes increasingly more successful economically.
“Statistics show that for every dollar invested in water and sanitation in the developing world, and thus keeping girls in school, a return of between three and thirty-four dollars can be expected.” [Tom Arne Skretteberg, The Importance of Water, page 5.] If this is the case, then why not work harder to keep these girls in school? Are these countries prioritizing repression before stable economy and hydrated citizens? The roots of inequality apparently run too deep for those who are in the position of helping.
As long as these people are not being supported by their countries (and others who are able to help), by receiving clean water for drinking and sanitation, it will be a never-ending circle for generations to come. All until the water they search for dries up and/or becomes more dangerous to drink than to not drink it at all. That limit is not far away from being reached many places, and it has already been reached many places as well. What will they do when the only water left for them is saltwater? “The irony of drowning in a drought was not lost on us” [Thirst, Page 4]
Like Carly said: “That’s just the water talking” [Thirst, Page 3]. Will these people in need of water experience such a drought that having a sip of cold water makes them nearly delusional? Is this the future we’re feeding onto? It may be a fictional text, but it brings a message with something to think about indeed.