International Women’s Day is Friday, March 8 – Concerns about Water, Literacy & Violence

Friday, March 8, is International Women’s Day.   It seems to me, unfortunately, that women in the United States do not observe this important date as much as we should.  Maybe it’s because, even with the inequalities that remain in our country, we still have it pretty good — good enough to make us complacent and forgetful even, of how much we have to be grateful for and celebrate.

But as the “lucky ones,” relatively speaking, I think we owe it to our sisters in other parts of the world that don’t have it so well, to observe this day and do something to help those women with less opportunity.

From my travels, experience, reading and just years of life on the planet, three of the things that strike me as core issues for women today, particularly in countries with emerging economies are:

*  Water (and subsequently health)    

*  Literacy / Education

*  Violence         

International Women's Day March 8 2013 - will these girls have a future as adult women? Will they even survive to become women?

International Women’s Day March 8 2013 – will these girls have a future as adult women? Will they even survive to become women?

Lack of Clean Water – and therefore health

Of the 1.3 billion people living in abject poverty, the majority are women and children. With this poverty, most often comes a lack of access to clean water.  In addition to the physical harm that comes with having to carry heavy loads of water (and its often not even somewhat clean water) long distances, women in poor regions with no access to running water lose a lot of time – time to take care of their children, educate themselves and their children, and time to to spend on a livelihood to improve their lot in life.

But, they also lose their health, which continues the cycle of poverty because they are too sick to work at jobs or raising food.

According to the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP), “37% per cent of the developing world’s population – 2.5 billion people – lack improved sanitation facilities, and over 780 million people still use unsafe drinking water sources. Inadequate access to safe water and sanitation services, coupled with poor hygiene practices, kills and sickens thousands of children every day, and leads to impoverishment and diminished opportunities for thousands more.  

The majority of people living in poverty are women and children.

The majority of people living in poverty are women and children.

In fact, every 20 seconds, a child dies as a result of poor sanitation. That’s 1.5 million preventable deaths each year.  

Poor sanitation, water and hygiene have many other serious repercussions. Children – and particularly girls – are denied their right to education because  their schools lack private and decent sanitation facilities. Poor farmers and wage earners are less productive due to illness, health systems are overwhelmed and national economies suffer. Without WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), sustainable development is impossible.”

 Violence Against Women 

It is when trying to transport water to their villages on unprotected trips down to water sources that women are often subjected to violence via regional conflict. This violence against them often involves sexual brutality and horrendous acts. But, one of the biggest segments in violence against women is domestic violence. Statistics from the United Nations state that in far too many countries 7 in 10 women can expect to be beaten, raped, abused or mutilated in their lifetimes. Aside from the obvious results – death or obvious injury – this violence can result in physical, mental, sexual, reproductive health and other health problems, and may increase vulnerability to HIV.  

The World Health Organization has concluded that violence against women – particularly intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women – are major public health problems and violations of women’s human rights.  A World Bank report, which estimates that more women aged 15-44 are killed violently than die of malaria, HIV, cancer, accidents and war combined.

Studies have shown that for both perpetrator and victim, attitudes accepting of violence and gender inequality, and low education or illiteracy, play a major role in the problem.

Illiteracy

Which brings us to illiteracy.  In my neighborhood, we just celebrated the opening of the new long-awaited Gum Spring Library. On the first day over 6,500 people visited the library – many of those were women and couples with young children. More than 14,500 materials were checked out the first weekend. But, in way too many countries, a library – even the ability to read – is a luxury people will never live to see.  And this lack of literacy fosters not only conditions that lead to violence, but help to keep women, and men, in a cycle of poverty that includes a lack of access to clean water, which makes people sick and keeps them from working to pull themselves out of that poverty.

In spite of the fact that most development agencies identify women’s literacy as the single most important factor in development, one out of every three women in the world cannot read and write. And, in some countries, men would like to keep it that way.  Remember the attack in October by the Taliban on 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai for her attempts to promote girls’ education in Pakistan. 

Lack of water. Violence. Illiteracy.  They are intertwined in keeping women around the globe from achieving their potential and contributing to the betterment of the human race, the environment, and the planet.

On Friday, March 8, please observe International Women’s Day – make a vow to take a step – even just one small one within the next week – for the benefit of a woman somewhere who’s suffering, and for women everywhere. Make a donation, write a Congressman, talk to your daughters or a class at school or church about women’s issue such as domestic violence … if we all did SOMETHING, we could make a difference 

Read more at the following web sites:

Amnesty International   

International Center for Research on Women      

UN Women – the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women     

World Health Organization    

CNN – “interesting story on women by the numbers” 

The High Costs of Free Water

Although communities pay to have water IX Power Clean Waterdelivered to them, the actual WATER has been FREE thus far. But maybe not for long. Take a look at this story that Dr. Ned Swan, U.K. Managing Director and International General Counsel at IX Power Ltd found recently. It really does make you think … click below …

The High Costs of Free Water

Be sure to visit Dr. Swan’s LINKEDIN Group “Water Market” for other news . . . 

Dr. Edward Swan, IX Power

Dr. Edward Swan, IX Power

Matt Damon on “Toilet Strike” for Clean Water

Well, it certainly isn’t a very practical idea, but you must give Matt and his team credit for thinking up his “Toilet Strike” as a creative and attention-getting way to get people to recognize the great clean water inequity that exists here on Mother Earth.  I mean, so MANY people do not have access to clean water or even dirty water at all…

Matt Damon on strike for clean water

Matt Damon, star of the “Bourne” movies, is on strike for clean water.

According to the United Nations, today 2.5 billion people, including almost one billion children, live without even basic sanitation. Every 20 seconds, a child dies as a result of poor sanitation. That’s 1.5 million preventable deaths each year.

That’s why at IX Power Clean Water, we’re working to develop technologies that can turn otherwise un-usable water resources into clean water that can be safely used by people, livestock and in agriculture.  Let’s end the unnecessary suffering, let’s fix this problem!

We’re with you Matt …!  We agree providing clean water for everyone is probably the single most important project that civilization can take on.

Unfortunately, I doubt any of us can “hold it” like you. But, we’ve signed up for the strike program and we’re with you in spirit, man.  We are with you in spirit …

To join the strike, if only in spirit, click here.

Story in Los Angeles Times

Matt Damon’s Water.org web site

U.N. Statistics on Water

IX Power’s new OrganiClear™ Clean Water Technology to Debut at TVC’s Deal Stream Summit April 3-5

IX Power will present OrganiClear at TVC's Deal Stream Summit

IX Power will present OrganiClear at TVC's Deal Stream Summit

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO, February 21, 2012 – A unique new technology and system for handling hazardous “produced water,” a troublesome

by-product of the oil and gas industry will be presented by Los Alamos-based IX Power at Technology Ventures Corporation’s (TVC) Deal Stream Summit April 3-5, 2012.

IX Power’s OrganiClear™ technology incorporates a new process created at Los Alamos National Laboratory to clean produced water of dangerous carcinogenic organic hydrocarbon compounds that have the potential to cause illness and birth defects.

Continue reading

Water – Cool, Clean Waaaater

We’re going to be talking a lot about water in 2012 at IX Power.  Without it, life is unsustainable.

water

Water, water ... it's NOT everywhere anymore. Especially CLEAN water.

In the United States most people don’t pay much attention to the growing water crisis.  We turn on the tap and its there! For the most part, lots of clean water – all we need, is readily available.  But in many parts of the world, water is as rare and precious as gold or diamonds. (and its getting that way even in parts of the U.S. – more on that in future postings.)

Did you know for example, that in the U.S. we use over 410 million gallons of water per day?

That homes and businesses use about 11 % of the total daily gallons, and in the U.S. drinking water supply, more than 2,300 chemicals that can cause cancer can be detected?

That Power Plants use about half of that 410 million gallons?

That we have a BIG problem with something called “produced water” not just in the U.S., but across the globe?

Produced Water is a “byproduct” – the hazardous waste –  that results from using water to drill for oil and gas. For example, large quantities of produced water are created when natural gas is extracted from shale rock formations, in a process commonly called “fracking.”  The produced water from hydraulic fracturing is processed at great expense in some countries (driving up the cost of oil and gas to the consumer), and poured into the groundwater and rivers in less responsible countries.

What’s in Produced Water?

A lot of salt, but also hydrocarbons such as oil and grease, industrial chemical additives (more about this later in upcoming postings), radioactive materials, and sediments.

YUCK!  If the drinking water, what little there is of it, doesn’t kill you, there’s plenty of other chances to shorten your lifespan with water — or WITHOUT it.

Water.  It’s a big subject.  Its one of the key issues that concerns the founders of IX Power, a major reason we came together, and one that we’re working on.

Look for more postings from us on this subject in the future.  We’ll be discussing the urgency of water, how to get it, how to clean it and share it …  please join the conversation!