Issue Brief Rough Draft

About ninety countries out of the entire world report that more than twenty five percent of their population is under the poverty line. Within these ninety countries, about ten countries report that about seventy percent of the entire population lives in poverty (Nation Master). What can be done when so many of the world’s nations are battling high poverty rates? Out of these large percentages of those poverty stricken, two hundred and fifty million girls live in poverty (The Girl Effect). That means that about eighty-eight percent of girls in the world are living in a developing country (girlup).  Evidence shows that countries who do not educate their girls to the same level as boys have a lower chance of economic growth; many of these countries lose more than one billion dollars each year because they do not educate the female population (Global Partnership for Education). However there are numerous problems that are holding girls back from the chance of receiving an education, but the most prominent issue is that of water. Fixing the issue of water will help a higher percentage of young girls attend school, thus allowing for a country to have the chance to rise out of poverty. Third world countries are held back by two things, the lack of clean, available water and the large number of uneducated girls. The two issues go hand in hand, and only by solving one issue will the other be able to be solved as well.

The Poverty Issue:

Poverty is a cycle, one that many countries and their citizens are trapped in. Without proper and nutritional food, lack of medicine, and most especially education most individuals have no chance of rising out of their poverty stricken state. About eighty percent of people live on less than ten dollars a day (Shah). The biggest contributor to this high poverty rate, is the lack of education. About one billion people throughout the world are unable to read or even write their name (Shah). Without a proper educated population, no country will be able to increase their economic growth. However, in the case of education there is a huge gender inequality. Out of that one billion people who are illiterate, women and girls represent two-thirds (Global Partnership).                         In order to end poverty world-wide, women need to be given the same chances as men. Girls need to be able to receive an education, because without schooling, she will be unable to receive a job or care for her family. Education of women is the key to ending poverty and helping countries grow economically.

Obstacles to Women’s Education:

From a young age, one of the main tasks of many girls in developing countries is fetching water. A woman’s job is to manage the family and provide for them and that means providing water. In many families, the mother hands over the task of water collecting to the daughter. Girls spend on average six hours every day walking to and from water sources just so their family may have water for the day (WaterAid UK). The task is arduous and for many communities, the water source is located many miles away(WaterAid UK). Not only is the trip to water long and time consuming, but it can also be dangerous. Girls are stuck in this cycle of carrying water every day until they have their own daughters to send. These six hours spent every day collecting water, is six hours that these girls are not in school. Since water needs to be collected every day, this means many girls do not have time to attend school. Without an education, no girl can ever truly have a hope of rising out poverty and making a better life for herself. If thousands are girls are unable to attend school because they spend all day walking miles in order to collect water, then as women they are less likely to have a successful livelihood. If this many women are unable to contribute to their community positively this keeps their community in poverty and therefore the entire country suffers (WaterAid UK).  Women not having the capacity to be educated and make a career for themselves means that a country’s economy is not able to prosper and keeps the entire country  in poverty and continues the cycle of poverty and lack of water.

Benefits of Educating Women:

Educating a woman compared to a man is much more beneficial to her family and community. An educated woman is more likely to teach her children and send them school. If a woman is educated she will most likely have a job which means she can give her children better financial support and be able to send them to school. Educated women are also more likely to have less children which allows them to focus more attention on each child (UNFPA). If more women have attended school, more women will hold jobs, and with more people contributing to the economy, the economy will grow tremendously. Giving a woman an education means giving a country a higher chance of pulling their population out of poverty.


The overall economic health of a country relies on the education of women, however their education relies on the presences of clean water that is easily accessible. If girls are able to cut out the hours they spend every day collecting water for cooking, cleaning, and drinking. However, the process is a difficult one. In many villages work is being done to provide access to clean and safe drinking water, but there are still many more communities that continue to struggle. A few solutions to give communities fresh water is hand dug wells, rainwater catchments, bioSand filters, and water purification systems (Charity water). These all seem to be fairly simple procedure, and the question then becomes why has the problem not been fixed. Well, two main reasons; so many people do not have water in their communities so fix the problem universally is a huge undertaking. The bigger problem though is most people seem to think that if a new fancy well is placed in a village all the problems will be solved. But what happens when the well breaks and the women are forced to collect water from miles away again? The real solution is yes, give communities new technology that will make the acquisition of water easier, but also educate the community. For each community, a handful of people need to be educated on how to care for and repair the water wells or purification systems that are set up in their town. A team of individuals need to be taught how to handle the wells even when they are broken, so that the problem can be fixed quickly and the community does not slide back into its original water problems. Once water is easily able to be located within the community, young girls will much more free time that will allow them to attend school each day. Once a girl starts attending school, she is then on the path to success and possibly breaking out of her life in poverty. Once the girl becomes a mother, she will educate her children and send them to school with the money she earns through her job. From generation to generation education will be passed down from mother to daughter, and women will begin to have a real chance at making a difference within their country. Poverty is a widespread issue that effects many nations throughout the world, but when a girl is given a chance to go to school, or world has a chance for a better future with less poverty. The first step to ending poverty is by educating the populace, and the most uneducated are women and girls. The only way girls will get a chance is by fixing the issue of water so that she can spend less time collecting water and more time learning. Poverty, education, and water are not separate issues, they are all connected to each other and only with the solution to one can the others be solved as well. Give a community water and a girl is able to go to school, give a girl an education and a country is able to begin to break the cycle of poverty.

What Can YOU Do?

Helping to solve these issues is key and it is only through the assistance of all nations that it can happen. It may seem to be a good decision to give the money for these projects directly to the country’s government, however there is no insurance that the funds will be used for the purpose desired. Many people donate to different private organizations, but research needs to be done in order to ensure that the organization uses the money in a positive way and is actually fixing the issues long term. One organization that is fixing the issue of water in many different villages is the Charity: Water. This organization chooses the location of the project by the necessity of need, they think about the availability of spare parts and maintenance services, and they ensure that the community wants this because without participation the project will not be sustainable for long periods of time (Charity: Water). Before they start a project they assess what kind of technology should be used in the particular community. One solution does not fit all problems, some communities might need to drill a well while others might need a hand dug well. The last step is they ensure the sustainability of the technology, they work with the local government and they train mechanics so that they can repair any damage or repairs that need to be done (Charity: Water). This is just one of many organizations out there, but Charity: Water really focuses on fixing the problem for the long-term not just an easy solution. This allows for these communities to be self-sufficient and able to access water conveniently which allows the girls in that village to attend school. Organizations like Charity: Water are helping millions of people, and with every community that they give water to, they are helping end poverty for the world just a little bit. They are giving women and girls the opportunity to attend school, get a job, and change their future.


***My infographs some how disappeared but I do have them.


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