Zero Discrimination Day 2017

Women carrying water final
01 Mar

Zero Discrimination Day 2017

Each year, March 1st marks the UN’s Zero Discrimination Day. This international day of observance presents a chance for us to up our efforts in rejecting discrimination whilst promoting diversity and tolerance. This year the official theme for the day is ‘Make Some Noise for #ZeroDiscrimination’ and encourages everyone to campaign as much as possible for a more just and fair society.

In many places discrimination can have a serious impact on the provision of water. In India – where we carry out much of our work at drop4drop – this discrimination revolves largely around the caste system. The caste system splits Indian Hindus into four principal castes which are then split into sub-castes. At the very bottom of this hierarchical system are the Dalits. ‘Dalit’ is literally translated into English as ‘broken’ or ‘oppressed’. Typically, Dalits are the caste which suffers from the highest levels of prejudice despite discrimination based on caste being made formally illegal in 1955.

Discrimination can deter the provision of water for the lower castes largely due to the rules of ‘untouchability’. Under these conventions, 160 million Indians are considered by many as ‘untouchable’ meaning impure or less than human. These people are often not allowed to share cups, use the same temples or –importantly – drink from the same wells as those from a higher caste. Because of this, Dalits are often excluded from obtaining clean drinking water – something that we see as a basic human right. In May 2016 we wrote a blog post about Bapurao Tajne who – having been excluded from a local well due to his wife’s low caste status – spent 240 hours digging a well to provide his family with access to clean water. (Read more here: http://drop4drop.org/india-caste-system-water/). This is, of course, not possible for most and therefore a disproportionate amount of those in India without access to clean water are of a lower caste.

Gender discrimination is also incredibly important in water provision in all of the contexts in which we work. In India and Sub-Saharan Africa – where we construct all of our projects – women are significantly more likely then men to undertake the role of water collection. This means that women are spending up to 6 hours a day collecting water from jerry cans which can weigh up to 20kg when full. This has serious implications on health. Water collection can cause back and pelvic deformities, miscarriage of children, chronic fatigue and much more. The days spent collecting water is also detrimental in that they occupy time in which women could be in education or providing for themselves economically. The UN estimates that 125 million hours every day is spent by women and children collecting water.

So, here at Drop4Drop we want to throw our support behind Zero Discrimination day and encourage you to work hard to celebrate the right of everyone to live their lives with dignity regardless of their background or identity. This, we believe, includes living with access to a safe and reliable source of clean drinking water.

Posted in Events, News

recent articles

20 Jun

Transboundary Waters

There are approximately 263 watercourses around the globe that are being shared by more than 140 countries and cover half [Read More]

Posted in News

31 May

Meet the Uganda team!

DROP4DROP and Kituntu Women’s Association have been working together since 2011 to reach communities across the Mpigi District that lack [Read More]

Posted in News, Partnerships

23 May

Climate change in the 21st Century

Climate change in now affecting all regions around the world. It is disrupting communities, individuals, national economies and will potentially [Read More]

Posted in News

10 May

Project Focus: Namugeye, Uganda

“We had no hope that we would get clean safe water in our community. Normally people have been fetching water [Read More]

Posted in News