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Girl Strong

Promoting global access to water, sanitation and hygiene for women and girls everywhere
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Universal access to WASH could reclaim 1 billion school days.

1 in 3 women experience sexual, physical or emotional violence in her lifetime.


In sub-Saharan Africa, 50% of girls miss at least 1 day a month when they menstruate.

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What is Girl Strong?

Never before has the world been so close to ending the global water and sanitation crisis. It’s a fight we know can be won, but not without putting women and girls first. Girl Strong offers a glimpse into the problems that many women and girls face day in and day out.

The issue

  • Ever year, women and girls spend 40 billion hours collecting water -- that's the equivalent to all the hours worked in a year by the entire workforce in France.
  • Women and girls walk an average of six miles round-trip to collect water, carrying an average of 40 pounds (approximately the same amount your checked baggage can weigh on most commercial airline flights).
  • In India alone, it is estimated that collecting and carrying water costs 150 million work days every single year.
  • It is estimated that women and girls spend 97 billion hours each year looking for a place to urinate or defecate, because they don't have access to a toilet.

To put these numbers in context:

That's 10 times more hours than all Americans spent sitting in traffic last year. It's twice the total time spent by all 81 million Netflix subscribers watching content last year. It's approximately 10 times more than the total number of hours Americans spend responding to Federal paperwork, such as from the IRS.

Think of all that be accomplished if these women and girls could recapture the time they currently spend collecting and carrying water or searching for a safe, private toilet.


Women and girls from all over the world are affected by lack of WASH. Here are a few of their stories:

Meet Solo >

Meet Radha >

Meet Kajal >


Want more facts on the obstacles women and girls face every day due to lack of clean water and a safe toilet? Check out our fact sheet.

Looking for an easy way to share what you've learned with your family and friends? Download our infographic.

Girl Strong playlist

For those of you looking for full commitment to the Girl Strong experience, check out our Spotify playlist

Learn more

Listen as our very own Cecile Shrestha takes NPR listeners to Nepal to experience chaupadi.