Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars Captain Meg Lanning says that with the world’s attention on Australia during the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, now was the time for Australians to step up to help reduce the distances women and girls walk for water, food and healthcare in developing countries.
Meg Lanning, the reigning Belinda Clark medallist, was today announced as the newest Ambassador for CARE Australia’s Walk In Her Shoes Challenge, which calls on Australians to walk 25, 50 or 100 kilometres over one week (16-22 March), replicating the distances that women and girls overseas walk each day for water, food and healthcare.
Lanning has represented Australia at cricket’s highest level internationally and says statistics match what she has seen firsthand during her travels to developing countries; that it is women and girls that bare the biggest burden of collecting water food and firewood for their families.
“Women and girls in developing countries walk, on average, twelve and a half times around the MCG, just to collect water for their families.
“And this matches what I’ve seen in countries like India and Sri Lanka, where in poor communities, women are overwhelmingly the ones who collect water, food and firewood. This burden can prevent them from going to school or earning an income to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.”
The Walk In Her Shoes Challenge raises funds to support CARE Australia’s work to build water and food sources closer to communities, giving women and girls the chance to spend time going to school or earning an income to lift themselves out of poverty.
In announcing her support for the Walk In Her Shoes Challenge, Lanning drew some startling comparisons between her life as one of the world’s leading cricketers and what women and girls overseas face each day.
“The average distance women and girls in developing countries walk to collect water is six kilometres, which is the equivalent of running 298 runs of a standard cricket pitch, each day.”
“It’s an unfair burden that too many women overseas have to face, and I hope Australians will join me in March to Walk In Her Shoes to give thousands more girls overseas the chance to go to school.”
CARE Australia CEO Dr Julia Newton-Howes said Walk In Her Shoes was a great way for Australians to improve their health and wellbeing while also changing the lives of women and girls overseas.
“A few thousand extra steps during Walk In Her Shoes will go a long way to improving your fitness, but will also mean a lifetime of benefits to thousands of women in some of the world’s poorest countries.”
To get involved, visit www.walkinhershoes.org.au and register to receive a welcome pack with all the information you need to get started.