Online course

Water for the People: Gender, Human Rights, and Diplomacy

Explore how access to water relates to gender and human rights with this online course.

Water for the People: Gender, Human Rights, and Diplomacy

Understand the complexities of access to water

We all need water every day, yet 1.1 billion people worldwide lack access to safe drinking water. For many, obtaining water for their families is a difficult, time-consuming task, falling heavily on the shoulders of women and girls. There is widespread agreement that people have a basic human right to the water needed to sustain life, yet this right has not been realized for nearly 1 of every 7 people on earth.

On this course you will learn about the issues of gender inequality and human rights in relation to water, and the diplomatic efforts that are helping to improve access to water.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 7 secondsWe all need water every day. For most, obtaining water is as simple as turning on the tap, but for hundreds of millions of people not served by water distribution systems, fetching water can be an arduous chore that consumes hours each day. The burden of this chore typically falls disproportionately on women and girls, who make sacrifices in other areas of their lives in order to focus on water. Is access to clean safe water a basic human right, or is water a commodity to be bought and sold for a profit? How do nations that share water resources negotiate equitable agreements to allocate that water among them?

Skip to 0 minutes and 52 secondsThese are some of the topics we'll be addressing in this course, Water for the People, Gender, Human Rights, and Diplomacy. We hope you'll join us.

What topics will you cover?

  • Gender inequality in relation to water: How and why do women and girls bear the brunt of water scarcity?
  • Is water a human right? How has the human right to water been defined? What is the reality?
  • Is water a commodity to be bought and sold for a profit?
  • How has globalization affected access to water for the people?
  • How do nations work together to forge bilateral or multi-lateral agreements promoting access to water?

When would you like to start?

  • Available now
    This course started 15 October 2018

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Explore how water has been regarded as a human right
  • Discuss bilateral and multilateral diplomatic efforts to improve access to water.
  • Discuss the impacts of globalization and privatization on access to safe drinking water.
  • Describe how the impacts of water scarcity fall disproportionately on the female gender.

Who is the course for?

This course is for anyone interested in learning about human rights, access to water and diplomacy. You don’t need any past experience.

Who will you learn with?

Glenn Patterson

Hi! I'm a hydrologist, with a recent Ph.D. in watershed science from Colorado State University, and a previous career with the U.S. Geological Survey where I worked on water quality and quantity.

Who developed the course?

Colorado State University, a land-grant institution and a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University-Extensive, is one of the United States’ leading research universities.

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Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join: