Posted by Isis Mejias on Jul 31, 2017
Our Rotary club wants to create a (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) committee! Led by our e-club Rotarian and WaSRAG Ambassador Isis Mejias.
 
At the last Water Summit in Atlanta this year, Isis spoke about the lessons learned during her trip to Uganda under GG1515222. The lack of access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) affects women disproportionally, due both to biological and cultural factors. In addition to meeting women’s needs around menstrual and sexual and reproductive health, WASH is also essential for their social and economic development, contributing towards gender equality and the comprehension of their rights. 
During the summit, Isis emphasized that:
- Women in the community need to be empowered to talk about menstruation in schools. There is still embarrassment to talk about menstrual hygiene.
- Distribution of sanitary pads in schools can sometimes enable embarrassment. lt's important that girls who receive these kits feel it is not because they're poor but because it's a solution smart and sharp girls choose. This is also an important leadership opportunity. Girls should contribute something toward kits so they feel invested in the solution.
  
During the conference, Isis met Charlie Ruth Castro, who is a member of the E-Club of Sogamoso, Colombia, and an advocate for education and opportunities for women. Charlie is the head of the group “Fundación Mujeres Con Derechos” (www.mujeresconderechos.org), an organization focused on empowering girls and women to understand their human rights.
 
As an effort to initiate activities for the WASH committee, they have been talking about the possibility of having e-clubs discuss these ideas (partnering with the e-club of Sogamoso and the WASH e-club) to collaborate on the topic of WASH and Women. There is no project being discussed, just the idea that we could all discuss this issue.
If anyone has a particular interest in this topic, or simply wants to participate in the committee, let Isis know by emailing her at isis.mejias@gmail.com and she'll include you in the conversation. 
 
Isis Mejias is our eClub of Houston's 2017-18 International Chair as well, so feel free to send her a line regarding any committee questions and suggestions. Thanks!