We see them all the time when we work in polluted hotspots where, really, no one should be living.
We see them going about their daily, often back-breaking work, many times with children in tow.
These women are often too busy taking care of daily necessities to do anything else, let alone worry about their contaminated communities.
But these women are often the key to change once they realize their children are being poisoned. They are the ones who are usually the most eager to learn what they can do to keep their families safe.
In Mongolia, a miner, Mrs. Mungun, trained to go mercury-free to protect her children.
In Mexico, Rosario, an artisanal potter, switched to using lead-free glazes in her workshop.
In Senegal, women are teaching other mothers about the dangers of lead poisoning from the improper recycling of car batteries, so that they will learn to avoid tragedies that plagued mothers like Seynabou.
So to all these mothers on the frontlines of the pollution fight, THANK YOU.
(scroll below for more photos)
Did You Know…
… women and children in low- and middle-income countries are the most vulnerable victims of toxic pollution?
WHO reports that every year, environmental risks take the lives of 1.7 million children under 5 years.
In many communities, women are more at risk because they may be economically isolated, excluded from cooperatives or ownership positions or paid through back channels to work in their homes or backyards rather than in monitored, safer industrial environments.
And if women are affected, so are their families. Exposures to dangerous chemicals have a multigenerational impact on women, families and entire communities.
Snapshots Of Mothers In Some Of The World’s Worst Polluted Places