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Wednesday 11 October marks the United Nations International Day of the Girl which aims to highlight the needs and challenges faced by girls globally.

One of these challenges faced by girls and women in many societies is their responsibility for collecting water. For those in rural areas, this can mean walking for several kilometres each day to collect water for their families, even during pregnancy.

Complications during pregnancy & birth are the 2nd leading cause of death for girls between age 15 & 19. Many of these complications are caused by infection –or sepsis – and can be prevented with improved access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH).

Access to WASH can be transformative for the most marginalised girls living in poverty. It means safe drinking water, sanitary healthcare, more time for education, and clean, safe care at delivery when the time comes. Educated women and girls are less likely to die in childbirth and more likely to raise healthy and educated children if they become mothers themselves.

Help mark International Day of the Girl by joining the conversation online and finding out more here.