Water, Women, a Concert, and Ongoing Projects

Regular readers of the Women’s Center calendar might have noticed a recent community event posted and wondered what it was doing there. Our calendar postings traditionally focus on women’s-centered events so the listing for the upcoming CD Release Concert by the Barclay Martin Ensemble may have seemed out of place. What does a concert put on by an all-male band have to do with the Women’s Center?

The connection comes through Barclay Martin Ensemble’s newly-formed partnership with the Kansas City-based organization water.org. A portion of proceeds from their new album, Pools That Swell With the Rain, and merchandise, along with designated donations from sponsors, will help fund new wells, sanitation infrastructure and health education in the Kyuso District of Kenya. That project will benefit women as they are the ones who shoulder most of the burden of getting clean water, as noted in an article on Alternet:

“The daily task of carrying water over distances is back-breaking work for women. In rural Africa, women commonly walk 10 kilometers a day to a water source and back — and twice that distance in the dry season. Often, women carry loads of up to 50 lbs on the head, hip, or back. Over time, the strain can deform the spine and pelvis, causing extreme pain and disability. A more immediate worry for many women and girls is the threat of sexual attack as they venture far from home in search of water.”

In other words, water rights are women’s rights and that is naturally something the Women’s Center can and should support. The CD Release Concert will be held on September 24 at the Folly Theater — your ticket will help bring clean water to the women (and men) of Kenya. Additionally, we are working with water.org and the Barclay Martin Ensemble on ways that UMKC students, staff, and faculty will be able to get involved and continue to support this project, so please watch this space for details.

[Photo from water.org Flickr]