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Katie Rose
from: Katie Rose
Category: General Discussion

Women & Water

Women and Water -
Flowing Together to Create Change

“One stick will break soon. But five sticks combined can’t be broken easily.  Therefore bound together as a group, we can do similar work. Nobody can break us.”
Kuntala Behra - member of a women’s self-empowerment group set up in the slums of India, WaterAid video Women: Agents of Change

'Water, water everywhere, only if we share - Megha Kumar, India - World Water Day Slogan for 2013

As I approach
World Water Day and the launch of my new album, after a powerful week of celebrating Women with International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day, I’m continually reminded that no matter how big and overwhelming issues are on a personal and global scale, small daily actions and collaborative ventures can make a big difference.

On International Women’s Day I had the honour of performing, ‘
Raise Your Voice for Change  with Dawn Ellis and Tom Morley of Instant Teamwork at the top of a very misty City Hall. Their song was written originally for UN Women and will be part of a special UN Women’s walk on Saturday 16th March and no doubt many future events.  I was so grateful that I had a space to raise my voice and make a contribution with like-minded singers - it was so uplifting and empowering.  For me, the experience of action in collaboration is absolutely magical and inspires me to carry on.

My new album,
Empty Cup contains the songs of many women - a woman shot accidentally by her lover who returns as a ghost to forgive him, a woman who escapes from abduction using the power of her song, a woman left behind when her man is taken to war, a woman who saves her lover from death, a woman who holds to the truth of her love to the death in the face of slander, a seal-woman who returns to the sea, and Oshun, Goddess of Water Within the vulnerability of their stories, there is an Oceanic Female Spirit which carries them through their trials and is truly wonderful to behold.  Their enchanting songs have captivated, inspired and encouraged me as they touch on the stories and themes of my own life.

The courage of the women in these songs is the same courage of the women whose lives are daily impacted by lack of clean water - those who damage their bodies, miss out on education and risk assault carrying water for miles for their family, those who are forced to give dirty water to their children knowing it may kill them, those who are raped when trying to find a safe place to use as a toliet, those who face illness and deformity from water-bourne diseases, those who are married off underage because their families are too thirsty to take care of them.  Their cup is empty.  But their stories are not going unheard.  

WaterAid is working with women in the world’s poorest communities to empower them to take those daily small actions that build taps, pumps, toliets and new hygiene practices. Women are forming self empowerment groups and are courageously setting out to educate their children, spouses, neighbours and communities, demonstrating that lives can be saved when water is used mindfully.  They are showing that the power of collaboration changes lives and in doing so they are becoming empowered, confident decision-makers in their communities.  They are being acknowledged by governments as having a key role to play in the future of their countries.  

Currently the shocking statistics are that 1 in 3 women will be raped or assaulted and that violence causes more death and disability for women than war, cancer, malaria or traffic accidents. Women earn 10% of the world's income for doing two-thirds of the world's work, own under 3% of the world's wealth and form only 17% of the world’s governments. Two-thirds of the 780 million illiterate people in the world are women and 19 girls a minute will be forced into underage marriage.  Despite these epic challenges, women everywhere are joining together to sing their song and share their stories - whether it’s the
No More Page 3 campaign in the UK, the campaigns to change the law in India after the recent gang rape of a young woman on a bus, the success of Grace Amy-Obeng fighting skin bleaching in Africa or the women working with WaterAid to bring clean water to their communities - women are joining to change the world from the inside out.  Their collaborative spirit, which flows in, out and around struggle, demonstrates the magic that becomes possible when we join together with a shared intent.

Please join with me to help fill the
Empty Cup on March 21st.  It costs only £15 to give one person access to clean water for life, so every penny helps.  You can join the party either in person at Inspiral Lounge from 8-10pm and/or by making a donation to  WaterAid on my JustGiving Page.    

Here is a video invitation to the event, donated generously by Simon Paul Sutton of Conscious Media.

Wishing you the wonderful flow of collaborative, magical, life changing action

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