Our mission is to advance women’s economic and social development by creating a centralized body of interdisciplinary research on water and sanitation issues. The issue is crucially important. Women bear the brunt of gathering water worldwide; in developing countries women walk up to 5km each way and expend up to half their calories on water fetching. Providing water access and sanitation means that women can stay in school longer and are healthier and lose fewer days from sickness in the family. Governments, foreign aid agencies and non-governmental organizations are increasingly paying more attention to the importance of women’s access to water and sanitation. Wh2o is an online academic journal for women and water issues around the world.
The idea for this initiative came from an early 2011 trip to India and Sri Lanka on behalf of the Master of Environmental Studies program at Penn, the Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership at Wharton and the Philadelphia Global Water Initiative. The trip was made by a man with a safari vest and hat, Professor Stanley Laskowski, and 2 students Dakota Dobyns and Caroline D’Angelo. We spoke with several people in the field from the U.N. and NGOs (many of whom will be a part of this project) who detailed the type of leadership and partnership necessary to advance women’s status through fixing sanitation and water issues.
Interested? Join us! We are always looking for more hands on deck.