Global Citizen is a community of people like you

People who want to learn about and take action on the world’s biggest challenges. Extreme poverty ends with you.

Water & Sanitation

How Access to Clean Water Can Empower Women Around the World

By Moree Scofield, Community Manager at Photography by Benjamin Heath for

Around the globe women are primarily responsible for providing water for their families. Tasked with this critical role, they face an impossible choice; certain death without water or possible death from illness due to dirty water. Women and girls often spend up to 6 hours each day collecting water. This takes time away from school, work and caring for family.

Take Action: Tell World Leaders Protect the Health of Girls and Women Everywhere

Empowering women is crucial to solving the global water crisis. This is why empowers women to get safe water and sanitation by helping them access affordable financing. created WaterCredit to do this. enables access to small, affordable loans that in turn, enable the poor to install household water connections and toilets in their homes. To date, they have disbursed more than one million loans, and 93% of the borrowers are women.  

That’s right —  93% of the borrowers are women. has found that, if given a choice, women found value in financing a loan in order to get water into their homes immediately. They no longer have to spend hours of their day walking to collect water, and instead, can work and earn income. Swapping what felt like wasted time for productive, income-generating days, women are not only earning the funds needed to repay their loans, but now they contribute to their family’s livelihood and future.

Two strong women, Aisyah and Elma, shared their stories in honor of World Water Day. World Water Day 2017

Meet Aisyah. Aisyah is a wife, a mother, and a farmer. Most critical to all of her roles is time. Asiyah explained, “Time to work my rice fields means more money I can make for my family; our life is better.”

A typical day for Aisyah included waking before sunrise to collect water. After several hours of collecting enough for her family’s needs, finally a tired and often frustrated Aisyah made her way to the rice field.

It is for people like Aisyah that created WaterCredit. A smart solution for a smart business woman, Aisyah knew water at home meant more time to produce a larger harvest. With these benefits in view, she confidently approached taking a loan to construct her very own water tap.

Read More: This Woman Travels ‘As Far as Her Bike Will Take Her’ For Clean Water

Waterorg world water day 2017 2.jpg

Elma is another example of a woman who believed in the benefits of financing her safe water solution. Elma and her husband are poor. Despite their circumstance, Elma did her best to make a home for her family in a dirt-floor hut in rural Philippines. Elma was unsure how they would ever afford water and a toilet for their home, but she knew having a tap and a bathroom would make life better for their children.

Before walking to school, Elma and the kids used to make multiple trips to collect water. This was not the life she wanted for them. “We can only give our children very little, but we wanted to make sure they have water and a toilet.” Thus Elma’s courageous fight to break her family free from the cycle of poverty and their long walks for water began.

Read More: Why Do So Many People Still Struggle to Access Clean Water?

Through our work in the Philippines, had already begun to pave the way to Elma’s victory by making the small, affordable loans possible for families to construct household water connections and toilets. A brave Elma was able to secure the funds to give her family what they needed most.

This World Water Day you can empower women like Aisyah and Elma. Visit to donate to and empower more women to change their world.