The Wash Line

Nicholas Jackson attends a talk by data analyst Hans Rosling:

Two billion of the world's seven billion people live on less than $2 a day, below the poverty line, Rosling said. And only one billion live above the "Air line," the term Rosling uses for those who spend more than $80 a day and whose lives are filled with gadgets, including airplanes. But how many live above the "Wash line?" Rosling asked. How many of the world's seven billion have access to a washing machine? Only two billion. These people live on $40 a day or more. Everyone else -- about five billion people around the world -- still washes their clothes by hand.

Of course, women are often the ones who are doing the washing of clothes. And they spend hours every week performing this grueling task that we often take for granted. Hours that could be better spent elsewhere.