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  • "I'd Walk a Mile for a Camel"

    Back in the 1970's R.J. Reynolds used this slogan to push their cigarettes. I doubt, however, that any cigarette smoker would have walked 6 kilometers (4 miles) for a cigarette. Yet this is the distance that women in developing countries, on average, walk to fetch water each day.

    Could you do that? A liter of water weights 2.2 pounds. How many liters of water does your family use in a day?

    In Rwanda, I saw women walking to get water. They walk bare footed, on rocky and uneven terrain. They don't have any high-tech gear from REI to distribute the weight of what they carry. They don't have a wagon to pull or a bike to ride. In fact, women typically carry loads on their heads. The average load being 20 kilograms (44 pounds).

    I took this photo in Tanzania. You can get an idea of the sort of loads women carry.