Women and Girls are the “Backbone” of Building Climate Resilience
Bangladesh lies on the largest delta in the world and is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and natural disasters. The negative impacts of climate change are threatening the food security, livelihoods and existence of 160 million people in Bangladesh, especially poor women, elderly, people with disability, ethnic minority and growing children. Impacts of climate change, such as drought, floods, extreme weather events like cyclone and food and water insecurity, affect women and men differently while making the poorest more vulnerable. Even though women are therefore disproportionately affected, at the same time they play a crucial role in climate change adaptation and mitigation actions. In order to bring about a paradigm shift towards climate resilient development pathways, globally and at national level, all climate change mitigation and adaptation actions need to equally pursue broader environmental, social, economic, and political benefits in a gender-responsive manner. Hence, ICCCAD has been working since its inception to address the issues of bringing gender equality within the climate change regime and cross-cutting sector.
Aims and Objectives of the Gender Programme:
The position of women in policy framework of Bangladesh is mixed. Bangladesh developed number of policies and sectoral strategies to ensure gender equality. Thus, the key objectives of ICCCAD Gender Programme is to mainstream gender equality and social inclusion approach in all its research initiatives, project and programme intervention, while working with partners and communicating any research results as well as in policy advocacy of climate change in a gender responsive manner. With this in mind, ICCCAD values the human rights principles of fairness, respect, equality, dignity and autonomy while conducting research, policy advocacy and programme implementation activities.
ICCCAD believes that development process should consider the inclusion of the whole of society approach and the research should take into account the consideration of gender and social inclusion, through participatory result. While in the climate change entity; women, children, elderly people, persons with disabilities, poor and hard core poor fall under the category of vulnerable groups. Furthermore, ICCCAD also intends to promote women’s participation in policy level processes shaping the climate change agenda, as well as advocates for a better understanding and acknowledgement of women’s needs and roles in combating climate change.
Major initiatives and projects under Gender Programme:
Revision of Climate Change Gender Action Plan of Bangladesh (ccGAP Review):
The ccGAP was prepared in by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, with financial support from the Government of Finland and technical support from International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The document takes into account four key pillars of Bangladesh’s Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCSAP) 2009, namely a) Food Security, Social Protection and Health; b) Comprehensive Disaster Management; c) Infrastructure; and d) Mitigation and Low Carbon Development. The other two pillars of the BCCSAP, Research and Knowledge Management and Capacity Building and Institutional Strengthening, have been considered as cross-cutting issues. This plan provides guidance on policy issues and initiatives that need to be taken into consideration by government and development practitioners, in collaboration with different institutions to address climate change in a gender resonsive manner over a timeframe of five years, from 2013/14-2018/19. ICCCAD in collaboration with ActionAid Bangladeshh and UNWomen planning to drive a process of stocktaking under ccGAP and review the current ccGAP to address the emerging climate change challenges particularly gender issues in urban context in consistence with the Sutainabale Development Goals, Paris Agreement and Sendai Framework.
SAKTEE project (Scaling climate change adaptation knowledge and technologies for empowering women, and to enhance social equity and disaster resilience in Bangladesh):
This is a gender focused 3 years duration action-research project with thematic areas on building climate change and disaster resilience of the marginalised population like women and young girls in Bangladesh. The project is funded by IDRC and being implemented by BCAS in partnership with ICCCAD, University of Manitoba and Department of Women Affairs (DoWA), Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, Bangladesh Government. The project aims to improve understanding of the dynamics of the complex set of factors that aggravate differentiated climate change and disaster impacts and in so doing to fill identified knowledge gaps. Feminist and Participatory Action Research approaches will be applied to all components of the project. The project intends to identify best practices in disaster and climate resilience, and evaluate innovative climate change adaptation technologies in water and agriculture for scaling and implementation through multi-level institutional integration and adoption. Empowerment of women, youth/students and disadvantaged families through enhancing their knowledge, technical know-how and income-generation options and skills will be a consistent focus.
LUCCC Gender Group:
The Least Developed Countries (LDCs) Universities Consortium on Climate Change (LUCCC) is a South-South, long-term capacity-building programme (see Annex 1). It is currently comprised of ten universities from the LDCs which form a network to exchange knowledge on climate change, collaborating through capacity building, training and research. The LUCCC Consortium is managed by the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD. To advance the cause of the women in climate change arena and to build the capacity of the female practitioners within the LUCCC universities and national level, a LUCCC Gender group is formed where Bangladesh is playing the Moderator role. The key objectives of the formation of LUCCC Gender and Climate Change Group is to focus on how to engage them with climate change issues, the role of the group, scope of activities and how to strengthen the LUCCC platform with regards to gender and climate change.
- Climate Change and Disability
- Women and Girls Adaptive Capacity