Up to 50 percent of water is lost due to leaking pipes, dilapidated pipes and tanks and improper installation and maintenance. In Jordan, a country among the most water poor countries in the world since the income of 600.000 Syrian refugees, such water loss is not ideal. Repairs are often delayed because a male family member must be in house to receive the plumber. To tackle this cultural issue, Jordan launched ‘Water Wise Women’ in 2014, a program that provides plumbing training for women.
Women at the Heart of the House
The campaign of ‘Water Wise Women’ targets a female audience, knowing well that Jordan women are best accustomed with the water supply at their homes. Initially, the program was set with resistance from men, especially in rural areas. Therefore, the program focused their training on home-based repairs. As such, the campaign also recognized that women typically manage the water collection and storage at home.
“Before, a female plumber is not something people would accept. Now we can see some females working in electricity, plumbing and mechanics trying to break the stereotype between women and the professions which are traditionally ruled by men.”
Women Employment and Empowerment Serves Social Development
The women enrolled are given funding for travel, even though finances are increasingly limited. Now, upon completing their training, they are also given a box of tools to enable them to set up their own business if they wish. Ultimately, the program will not only help resolve Jordan’s water scarcity but also the training offer an employment to Jordan women, which have one of the lowest women’s labor force participation rate in the world.
The plumber-training program also involves awareness and education on the water crisis, proper conservation of water and reducing usage within the household. In the areas that have Water Wise Women groups, the Ministry for Water and Irrigation found that there has been a 30-40% reduction in household water consumption.
Being in 2018, let’s hope more like-minded campaigns come forward around the world: Women employment will be given the opportunity to rise and women feel more empowered since they are actively contributing in resolving their country issues!