India’s government plans to employ women across villages to test water quality as a measure to mitigate the obstacles that come with water scarcity.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government plans to employ women across villages to test water quality to combat rising challenges amidst India’s water scarcity, according to Bloomberg.
Women in villages across 256 water-scarce districts will receive training to ensure clean water supplies. The program aims to ensure better pay and access to credit for women entrepreneurs.
Unsafe commutes and lack of implementation of laws to protect female workers have contributed to about 20 million women vanishing from India’s workforce since 2004, the World Bank estimates.
“I think to say that women’s safety issues, children’s safety issues are a challenge only in a particular subcontinent, a particular country would be doing great injustice to the data that is available that every country has its own challenges with regards to safety and security of its citizens,” said Smriti Irani, the federal minister for women and child development, at the Bloomberg Equality Summit.
Inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene cost India around 0.8% of its gross domestic product, according to the World Bank. The efforts to train women are part of the government’s conservation and economic growth plans.
“It is the responsibility of those who are in the social segment, be it companies, non-profits or public at large, who need to recognize the law,” Irani said. “And they need to recognize that it is the woman’s right to bear the fruits of that progressive law, not a woman’s compulsion to stand at the end of the line waiting for the rainbow to hit her.”
The program will be expanded to cover all of India’s 750,000 villages.
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