“We, Women are Water” Statement on COVID-19
In the midst of so much uncertainty, we have been able to regain the value of connections, collective care and solidarity. Today, in the face of the crisis caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the urgent need to ensure the human right to water for everyone has become evident. According to data from UNICEF, 40 per cent of the world’s population – around three billion people – do not have handwashing facilities with soap and water in their homes. Thus, the very basic measure to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus is inaccessible to a large number of people in Latin America (and across the globe), especially those already living in vulnerable situations.
In the current context, we cannot stress enough that this pandemic impacts women in a differentiated way, as they are the ones responsible for managing food and water resources and caring for their families and communities, thus ensuring food security and the very survival of local populations. This pause in our normal pace has exposed the interdependence of cities with rurality, highlighting the need to strengthen agro-ecological practices, the care of rivers and forests and the general protection of our territories against all types of exploitation.
Taking care of ourselves, other people and our environment in a non-discriminatory way, with solidarity and respect for coexistence and defending our rights, is precisely one of the lessons that women water defenders have taught us and which today, in the face of this global emergency, is more valid than ever.
For many years, women environmental defenders have alerted the world to the urgency of generating mechanisms to ensure access to clean, healthy and safe water to maintain the health and lives of all people. Women are the ones who have organized themselves, promoting actions and initiatives for the defense, conservation and sustainable management of water; their organizational and response capacities are examples that today more than ever we want to highlight with the campaign #WeWomenAreWater.
Through their struggles, women environmental defenders are promoting a more just and equitable world for all people. It is urgent that we think in common-unity (¨común-unidad¨) , that we show solidarity with these demands and support them by spreading the word about these causes, which are also ours.
Let’s prioritize collective care, lets prioritize the human right to water for all.
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