Friday, December 23, 2005


My partner is a doctoral student in public health, and we talk a lot about public health issues of various kinds. I have been saying off and on for a few years that the most revolutionary action the nations of the world could take would be to provide clean water, sanitation, vaccinations, and an education to everyone. Yes, it would be a huge undertaking, but the benefits would be staggering. And it's not money keeping this from happening: it's lack of political will.

Today's N.Y. Times has a story that left me enraged, because it shows how clearly clear water and decent sanitation are linked to poverty and the situation of women and girls in the third world. It's about how lack of sanitation keeps African girls from obtaining an education. That is in addition to the other enormous social barriers women and girls face in Africa.

Read it, and you, too, will be enraged.

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