see me
Artboard 3

Give Monthly

We're in this together.

In this unprecedented time, communities around the world are struggling to cope. Now, more than ever, your monthly gift can help us respond to the needs of those who are most vulnerable during this global pandemic while keeping our ongoing lifesaving projects on track.

You have the power to make a difference.

Artboard 2

Help protect people vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19 in the US and around the globe.

Weight_of_Water_thumbnail.jpg

The Weight of Water on Women: The Long Wake of Hurricane María in Puerto Rico

Identifying and analyzing the gendered impacts of Hurricane María on WASH practices in rural communities of Puerto Rico

Hurricane María underscored that natural disasters deliver a disproportionate blow to women. In Puerto Rico, the disruption of modern water and electrical infrastructure cast this phenomenon into stark relief: as households lost the most basic services, it fell more to women to do the arduous labor of caretaking and maintaining households without water and power. In the rural highlands, Oxfam found women shouldering extraordinary physical, financial, and emotional burdens—but also leading the way to new approaches to sustainable and resilient alternatives.

After the hurricane struck in September 2017, Oxfam worked with researchers from the University of Cambridge (UK) and the University of Puerto Rico to answer questions around gendered impacts of the disaster on practices around water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) in rural Puerto Rico. How did the sudden loss of water impact daily life? More specifically, did the sudden loss of water supply affect women differently from men?

The answer, it turned out, was simple: Yes. In fact, the impact was substantially disproportionate for women. Because women are usually managers of the household—responsible for taking care of people and domestic systems—they were the ones who shouldered most of the burdens of managing water needs. Men did indeed feel the pinch—especially around finding and transporting water—but they were typically not the ones carrying the full physical and emotional weight of managing all the household demands.

Author

Oxfam

Publication date

Publication type

Research

Share this publication:

Oxfam.org Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube Google+