Most people do not equate gender equity and stove technology. But if you think about it, they are intricately connected. Empowering women and improving the efficiency of their work is critical for reducing poverty. If the health of women improves, the health of their families improves.
Like many areas, women in Guatemala primarily use open flame stoves. Cancer, cataracts and respiratory diseases are common side effects from long term smoke exposure. And because children are often with their mothers, they too suffer the effects of open flame stove.
Recently in Guatemala CHOICE Humanitarian worked with families to build 522 new stoves. This innovative stove model uses less wood and consists of piping that filters smoke up and out of the home. This produces less smoke and improves respiratory function of villagers. Plus, women are spending 50% less time collecting wood, which creates precious time for more literacy classes, time to help their children with school work and time for economic development projects. This will impact 2,500 families in the Polochic region enabling many women and children to live longer and healthier lives.
Thank you DownEast Outfitters for helping to raise money for these stoves and for helping to build them! You’re improving the lives of women in Guatemala!