Fetching Water is Women’s Work

I happened to read the “Water” issue of National Geographic during the rains and flooding in Middle Tennessee.

I have a deep love for National Geographic – it’s the only magazine I read regularly. I’ve subscribed to others in the past, but I can really only make time for one, so National Geographic gets my subscription dollars. It’s always enlightening, and I always learn something – about science, about the world around us.

This particular issue, as the title states, focused on water. The lack of freshwater is a big problem in many countries. I was most captivated by this story – of Aylito Binayo, and the millions of others like her that don’t have access to a faucet, and have to travel for hours to supply their families with this vital resource:

The task of fetching water defines life for Binayo. She must also help her husband grow cassava and beans in their fields, gather grass for their goats, dry grain and take it to the mill for grinding into flour, cook meals, keep the family compound clean, and take care of her three small sons. None of these jobs is as important or as consuming as the eight hours or so she spends each day fetching water.

Last week we had water concerns here in my small town – flood-related, though we were not nearly as affected by the flooding as most of Middle Tennessee. I bought up gallons of water just in case the water was cut off (the water was potable, but we had restrictions). But I still had the resources to obtain CLEAN water for my needs. How very humbling to read of women that carry 50 pounds of water on their backs for hours of day.

Fetching Water is Women's Work


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