Our solutions embrace the health of the environment and those within it, but what lies at the core of each WEA solution is the empowerment of local women. No matter how beneficial our solutions may be, they have the potential to become ineffective if women in the communities do not posses the knowledge to operate and teach others about the technology of the solution. Therefore, each solution is backed by women who are educated and equipped with the necessary skills to spread awareness about the solution.
WEA’s advocacy for women in turn allows women to advocate for others, creating a ripple effect in their local and greater communities. Sharing the unique and transformative voices of women in leadership is a powerful tool to help women assert agency, collaborate on solutions, and connect with other women around the world.
Many communities have limited access to clean water, but the point-of-use water filter is helping change that. Biosand water filters are simple water treatment devices that each consist of a column of sand and gravel covered with biofilm. These filters remove pathogens, generating a source of clean water for countless women and their families.
Toxins from open fires and traditional cookstoves are a serious health hazard. These toxins disproportionately affect those who gather fuel and cook for their families: women and girls. Through access to clean cookstoves, women are able to restore their health while also conserving air quality and local forests.
Composting toilets recycle human waste into fertilized soil through decomposition and evaporation — two completely natural processes. Composting toilets are a sustainable latrine alternative that improves human health. In WEA’s work, women are building composting toilets. Use of composting toilets creates usable fertilizer, and also prevents women from bearing the responsibilities of waste collection.
Entrepreneurship, a driving force of innovation and an engine for economic development, plays a huge role in improving the lives of women across the world. WEA women are leaders who are identifying environmental solutions. The women then become entrepreneurs— implementing their solutions throughout their communities while generating an income.
Music — the uplifting and heartfelt sounds made by voices instruments or a combination of both — aims to convey or express emotions. For WEA and our partners, music is a joyful sound. We share music because we recognize what we have and we are grateful. And there is inherent dignity and beauty in life when we are able to gather together.
Rainwater harvesting is an important activity where there is the collection of rainwater from surfaces that rain falls upon and storing this water for later utilization.
Lack of access to or comprehensive training around safe, reliable sanitation and hygiene resources can pose a critical barrier to women and girls education and leadership, often preventing them from attending school, seeking employment outside of the home, or maintaining their (and their family’s) health. These necessary resources include sanitary pads, soap, information on hand-washing and hygiene, and more. A key step in this solution is training women and girls to affordably produce their own sustainable sanitary pads and soap, so they can become community leaders capable of mobilizing others towards a future of appropriate hygiene practices.
Seed saving refers to the tradition of collecting and preserving seeds from current healthy crops so that it can provide for next year’s crops. It is a particularly important practice for women smallholders and farmers who not only safeguard indigenous knowledge for their communities, but who may lack access to seeds sold at market due to gendered land rights issues or financial constraints, and who understand the need to move away from modern chemical agriculture and GMO seeds.
Solar cook-kits are a solution for nearly 3 billion people globally, who cook over open fires. Reducing open fire cooking improves the health of women and children. Solar cook stoves also reduce deforestation because wood is no longer required as a source of fuel. Solar cook-kits are an affordable and alternative option instead of traditional cookstoves for many women. They offer a temporary alternative to traditional cookstoves.
This solution seeks to sustain women farmers, resources, and communities through the promotion of farming practices that are profitable for local women farmers and their communities while protecting the environment and conserving natural resources. Examples of sustainable farming include crop diversity, crop rotations and use of natural alternative inputs and fertilizers.
Tree planting is an important step to take to mitigate the effects of climate change. Planting trees near your home, your community, and protecting national parks and forests fights climate change through reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere.Through awareness raising workshops, WEA women who were once vulnerable are now taking proactive steps to mitigate environmental degradation.
Water storage refers to methods for the bulk storage of water to be used at a later time for drinking, cleaning, cooking, manufacturing, agriculture, fire safety, or other uses. It is particularly important in communities that don’t have access to regular supplies of safe water, and where women and girls are typically tasked with water collection for their families— a task that can take an average of 4 hours a day. Many communities that lack safe water storage options suffer from water contamination and associated waterborne illnesses. Barriers to accessing clean water include economics, poor infrastructure, lack of awareness of waterborne illness' and limited access to water testing. Increasing access to water testing and clean water improves health, food security and livelihoods.