The apparel industry employs millions of people throughout the world, a majority of whom are women. In many garment-producing countries women also bear the disproportionate burden for household responsibilities, particularly water collection.
Lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation takes up their time, affects their health, lowers their income-earning potential, and stands in the way of caring for families and improving their education.
On World Water Day 2017, USAID and Gap Inc. announced the formation of the Women + Water Global Development Alliance to advance the health and well-being of women, families, and communities touched by the apparel industry. The partnership will be USAID’s first water sector public-private partnership to focus on women as change agents by increasing their participation in decisionmaking and improving access to sustainable water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH).