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Access to water is essential for any poverty reduction strategy and in order to

achieve gender equality. On the occasion of Internationa

Women and girls are by far the most affected by the lack of access to water, a fundamental human right. In South Africa, collectively, women and girls spend 40 millions hours per year fetching water. This is time they do not spend on other activities, such as school and paid work.

Hans Engelberts, General Secretary of Public Services International (PSI) stated

l Women’s Day, public sector unions around the world are calling on governments to reaffirm their commitment to the Millennium Development Goals and to reduce by half the number of people without access to water by the year 2015.“ Water privatisation has not brought quality water services to people. Governments must accept their responsibility to provide safe, affordable and sufficient access to water. The social, economic and environmental costs of failing to provide water and sanitation are far greater than the resources needed to provide for these fundamental needs.”

From 8 March to 22 March, World Water Day, women’s committees of PSI

In the Caribbean, the Antigua and Barbuda Public Services Association will hold workplace discussions on the impact of water privatisation on women and communities.

In Thailand, PSI affiliates, together with other NGOs are organising a rally to call on the government to keep water in public hands and to invest in water development. In

The labour delegation at the 2007 session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, which this year focuses on the girl child, has used the opportunity to raise the issue of quality public services, including access to health, education and water. At a panel event organised jointly by the ITUC, Education International and PSI, Helen Maunga, Vice Chair of

affiliates are organising a range of activities to highlight the fundamental right to water, including a postcard writing campaign to call on governments to live up to their commitments.Lebanon, the women’s committee of the Water Union of Beirut and Mount Lebanon are organising a lunchtime forum. Trade unions in Indonesia are also mobilising to demand that water remain in public hands.the PSI World Women’s Committee highlighted the importance of quality public services in achieving gender equality and eliminating discrimination against women and the girl child:

When countries fail to invest in education, health, water, social, municipal and other public services, it is women and the girl child who suffer most

PSI has produced a women and water campaign package, including an information leaflet, a poster, a sticker, and a postcard. Additional materials, including audio materials, are available on the PSI website:


”, she told the audience. http://www.world-psi.org/ or contact: equality@worldpsi.org or +33(0)450409141 for more information..