A global phenomenon, climate change has a negative impact on ecosystems as well as socio-economic systems.
The effects of climate change also increase the social and economic vulnerabilities of Bangladeshi women by having a direct impact on their access to food, water, and sources of income.
Furthermore, women suffer more harm than men because of long-standing social conventions and traditional gender norms.
Bangladesh has a gender-responsive Standing Order on Disaster (SOD), the National Plan for Disaster Management, the Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan, the Delta Plan, and the 8th five-year plan.
However, there is a need for a systemic and structured monitoring mechanism to track the progress of these policies and implementation plans.
A dissemination on the "State of Gender Equality and Climate Change in Bangladesh" was held at Banani, Dhaka recently where the findings of the national assessment on the inter linkages between gender equality and climate change were shared among the different stakeholders, said a press release.
The assessment was jointly done by UN Women, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) with the aim of identifying the gaps for gender mainstreaming in four sectors: agriculture, water resource management, energy, and forestry related to climate change and disaster risk reduction.
Nayoka Martinez Bäckström, first secretary, environment and climate change, embassy of Sweden said, "To strengthen resilience, creating the synergies between regional and national level is important. Bangladesh has strong policies on climate change and gender equality however, there is a gap in implementing these policies, where we all can work together.”
“All sorts of access to finance require gender integration and gender responsive monitoring is a key. Linkage with the other countries in the region and regional exchange is valuable to ensure a gender responsive climate resilient society,” she added.
Diya Nanda, deputy country representative atUN Women, said, "It is crucial to create strong collaboration and coordination among different ministries and departments related to climate change and gender equality to ensure sustainable and resilient gender-responsive climate action in Bangladesh.”
“We will be working with the ministries and departments related to climate change and gender equality to strengthen their institutional capacity on gender mainstreaming into national policies, projects, budgeting, and development planning," she added.
Farhina Ahmed, secretary to environment, forest, and climate change ministry, said, "To make sure that every development project is gender responsive, we need to create toolkits. There is a gap in perceiving the gender responsive policies and plans into reality. Capacity development interventions are required to reduce these gaps. Developing evidence-based research and database is very much needed to transfer this knowledge into implementation that would help the policy makers to make decisions.”
“We should focus on elderly people and the people with disability whenever we are talking about gender equality in all sectors like climate change, environmental degradation, and renewable energy," she added.
Different group of people have various type of vulnerabilities if we could have proper understanding on their needs and requirement, then the development programs could be much more contextual,"
Mozaharul Alam, Regional Coordinator-Climate Change Programme, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Mr. Raquibul Amin, Country Representative, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and Md Iqbal Hussain, National Project Director (Joint Secretary, Gender Responsive Coastal Adaptation Project), Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, also attended the event with other government officials, academia, civil society, NGOs, and media professionals.
Participants urged that public awareness and gender mainstreaming must be strengthened to make people of both genders aware of the environmental issues to achieve sustainable development.