Water Crisis Leading to Wife Abuse in Some Areas

women carrying water photo

Photo via magnusfranklin via Flickr CC

If there were ever a good reason to help get water to villages, this may be it. In the Kamuli District in southeastern Uganda, women have to travel particularly long distances to gather water now that water scarcity has hit the region. The problem is that requirement clashes with some cultural issues, namely that husbands attribute the women being gone so long with love affairs and other indiscretions, and that leads straight into domestic violence.Circle of Blue reports:

Parliament Deputy Speaker Rebecca Kadaga told delegates from the World Malayalee Council -- an Indian nongovernmental organization -- that the water depletion in Kamuli had led to many women being divorced and beaten by their husbands.

"Kamuli has 18 sub-counties and over 100 parishes, but there are cases where four villages share one water source and others do not have," Kadaga added.

We may look at this situation and say there is no excuse for violence, but we have to look through the scope of cultural relativism. This is just one of many instances in which violence is and will be sparked by water shortages. That's why the water crisis is no light matter.

Further, in this culture and in many others, water management is not under control of the women who gather the water.

Gender inequality was a major theme at the 5th World Water Forum held in Istanbul in March this year. At a special gender session, delegates to the forum discussed the impact of unequal gender roles for the health, dignity and social progress of women, particularly in less developed societies.

Many aspects of our relations to one another as human beings will be put under a microscope as one of our most precious resources comes under threat.

More on Water Scarcity
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The Next Green Thing: "Water Neutrality"

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