Women + Water Alliance

Women+Water is a Global Development Alliance between USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development) and Gap Inc. that is committed to improving and sustaining the health and well-being of women and communities touched by the apparel industry in India.



The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Gap Inc. share a common interest in improving the health and well-being of the women, families, and communities touched by the global apparel industry through improved water, sanitation, and hygiene services, and responsibly managing water resources.

Worldwide, the apparel industry provides a critical source of economic opportunity for women, who make up approximately 80 percent of garment workers. However, the industry also stands out as one of the largest and most intensive users of water; responsible for roughly one-fifth of freshwater pollution globally. For example, manufacturing processes such as dyeing and finishing garments are sometimes poorly regulated and can result in impacts to surrounding community water resources, with women and children bearing the brunt of the downstream impacts.

Many of the countries where apparel production is based also face underlying challenges in meeting the health, economic, and natural resource management needs of their populations. A significant factor that contributes to women’s disadvantages in many of these countries is the disproportionate burden that women bear for household responsibilities, particularly related to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). Women and girls collectively spend more than 150 million hours collecting water and face serious health risks due to inadequate access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities, and poor understanding of healthy hygiene practices. Addressing these issues provides an opportunity to strengthen women’s lives.


Women Walking Across Rice Paddy in India. Photo Credit: Justin Kernoghan

Impact Graphic

Impact Graphic

Photo Courtesy of Women + Water Alliance


Check out the Women + Water Alliance Program Strategy Map



USAID and Gap Inc. draw on their complementary strengths to ensure the sustained and scalable impact of WASH programming and advancement of women in India.

Gap Inc Logo

As a prime partner, Gap Inc. works with USAID to share information, collaborate and build partnerships across and beyond the apparel sector to further the impact and extend the reach of the Alliance.


CARE advances women’s self-efficacy and agency through Gap Inc.’s life-skills training program, P.A.C.E. (Personal Advancement & Career Enhancement).

Water Aid Logo

WaterAid accelerates women's access to sustained WASH services by strengthening community drinking water management.

Water.org Logo

Water.org accelerates women’s access to sustainable WASH services through affordable financing.

ISC Logo

ISC aggregates stakeholders to improve water stewardship practices in the apparel industry in India.


I4DI Logo

I4DI is the evaluation partner and supports the W+W Alliance by evaluating the program as a whole based on the program strategy map. This is done through baseline, midline and end line evaluation.


ICRW is the evaluation partner to conduct a longitudinal study on the P.A.C.E. component of the W+W Alliance; to evaluate WASH behavior change adoption and impact.

Women pray in the Ganges River in India. Photo Credit: Pranab Chandra, Courtesy of Photoshare



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Una Hrnjak Una_Hrnjak@gap.com

Ella Lazarte elazarte@usaid.gov

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