Water, Human Rights, and Reproductive Justice: Implications for Women in Detroit and Monrovia

Publication Abstract

Mosley, Elizabeth, C.K. Bouse, and Kelli Stidham Hall. 2015. "Water, Human Rights, and Reproductive Justice: Implications for Women in Detroit and Monrovia." Environmental Justice, 8(3): 78-85.

Access to safe water and adequate living standards are recognized as basic health requisites and human rights worldwide. Nevertheless, socially marginalized women across the globe are currently facing threats to safe water access, which has dire implications for their health and that of their children. The City of Detroit, Michigan has recently shut off water services to over 50,000 residences, with low-income and racially marginalized women and their families disproportionately affected. The conditions for many Detroit residents are not unlike those in Monrovia, Liberia, where lack of access to safe water and substandard environments have contributed to the ongoing Ebola epidemic and subsequent maternal and infant mortality. Utilizing a comparative analytic approach rooted in postcolonial feminist theory and intersectionality, our commentary draws parallels between these two timely water, human rights, and reproductive justice crises in Detroit and Monrovia. We explore how public discourse and proposed solutions have failed to acknowledge the historical contexts and sociopolitical determinants of these crises, which have urgent and long-lasting implications for women's reproductive health and social justice worldwide.

10.1089/env.2015.0004

Country of focus: Liberia.

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