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Bangladesh

Women and Climate Change in Bangladesh

Citation:

Alston, Margaret. 2015. Women and Climate Change in Bangladesh. London: Routledge.

Author: Margaret Alston

Annotation:

Summary: 
Bangladesh is by no means a high emitter of carbon, but it is nevertheless one of the countries most critically affected. There is a significant risk of damage to lives and livelihoods due to climate change in the form of cyclones, flooding and storm surges, and slow-onset impacts such as droughts, sea level rises and river basin erosion. Moreover, Bangladeshis are especially vulnerable as a high proportion of people live in extreme poverty. This book assesses the impact of climate change in Bangladesh, and presents the findings of a three-year, in-depth study undertaken at village level in different districts of the country. It examines national policies, contrasting them with what is actually happening at village level. It outlines the impact of climate change on livelihood strategies and health, and focuses particularly on the impact on gender relations, showing that although women have a significant role to play in helping communities cope with the effects of climate change, cultural customs and practices often work against this. The book argues for, and puts forward policy proposals for, recognising women’s active contribution and supporting gender equality as a critical strategy in global adaptation to climate challenges. (Summary from Taylor & Francis Group) 

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2015

Female Adolescents and their Sexuality: Notions of Honour, Shame, Purity and Pollution during the Floods

Citation:

Rashid, Sabina Faiz, and Stephanie Michaud. 2000. “Female Adolescents and their Sexuality: Notions of Honour, Shame, Purity and Pollution during the Floods.” Disasters 24 (1): 54–70.

Authors: Sabina Faiz Rashid, Stephanie Michaud

Abstract:

This paper explores the experiences of female adolescents during the 1998 floods in Bangladesh, focusing on the implications of socio‐cultural norms related to notions of honour, shame, purity and pollution. These cultural notions are reinforced with greater emphasis as girls enter their adolescence, regulating their sexuality and gender relationships. In Bangladeshi society, adolescent girls are expected to maintain their virginity until marriage. Contact is limited to one's families and extended relations. Particularly among poorer families, adolescent girls tend to have limited mobility to safeguard their ‘purity’. This is to ensure that the girl's reputation does not suffer, thus making it difficult for the girl to get married. For female adolescents in Bangladesh, a disaster situation is a uniquely vulnerable time. Exposure to the unfamiliar environment of flood shelters and relief camps, and unable to maintain their ‘space’ and privacy from male strangers, a number of the girls were vulnerable to sexual and mental harassment. With the floods, it became difficult for most of the girls to be appropriately `secluded'. Many were unable to sleep, bathe or get access to latrines in privacy because so many houses and latrines were underwater. Some of the girls who had begun menstruation were distressed at not being able to keep themselves clean. Strong social taboos associated with menstruation and the dirty water that surrounded them made it difficult for the girls to wash their menstrual cloths or change them frequently enough. Many of them became separated from their social network of relations, which caused them a great deal of anxiety and stress. Their difficulty in trying to follow social norms have had far‐reaching implications on their health, identity, family and community relations.

Keywords: Bangladesh, 1998 floods, adolescence, sexuality, gender, women

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Girls, Health, Mental Health, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Sexuality Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2000

Flood-Induced Vulnerabilities and Problems Encountered by Women in Northern Bangladesh

Citation:

Azad, Abul Kalam, Khondoker Mokaddem Hossain, and Mahbuba Nasreen. 2013. “Flood-Induced Vulnerabilities and Problems Encountered by Women in Northern Bangladesh.” International Journal of Disaster Risk Science 4 (4): 190–9.

Authors: Abul Kalam Azad, Khondoker Mokaddem Hossain, Mahbuba Nasreen

Abstract:

This study examines flood-induced vulnerabilities among women in northern Bangladesh. Poor and disadvantaged women are more vulnerable to disasters than men due to the conditions that predispose them to severe disaster impacts. Women suffer from physical injuries and are often evicted from their dwellings due to floods. Difficulties in finding adequate shelter, food, safe water, and fuel for cooking, as well as problems in maintaining personal hygiene and sanitation, prevent women from performing their usual roles at home. All of these are problems related to women’s gender identity and social roles. Many poor and destitute women remain unemployed during and after floods. Women also suffer from domestic violence and are subject to harassment when taking shelter or refuge at community centers. These particular vulnerabilities and problems interrupt women’s mitigation efforts and adaptation capacities in disaster risk reduction.

Keywords: Bangladesh, flood, flood-induced vulnerability, vulnerability of women

Topics: Domestic Violence, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Health, Households Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2013

Gender and Food Security in Bangladesh: The Impact of Climate Change

Citation:

Alston, Margaret, and Badi Akhter. 2016. “Gender and Food Security in Bangladesh: The Impact of Climate Change.” Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography 23 (10): 1450–64.

Authors: Margaret Alston, Badi Akhter

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: 
Food security remains a critical global issue, made more difficult because of the rising world population, climate challenges affecting food production and a focus on market-based solutions that undermine subsistence production in vulnerable rural areas. Particularly affected are countries across Asia where poverty, hunger and malnourishment affect a significant proportion of the population. Drawing on Sen’s entitlement theory, we argue that a shift in focus from national food production to intra-household food access enables a critical reflection on consumption smoothing strategies adopted at this level. In particular, we draw attention to the tendency for women and girls to eat less as an intra-household adaptation strategy. We present findings from our research in rural areas of Bangladesh and note that adaptation strategies adopted by households in response to food insecurity. We note that strategies designed to address food insecurity must include gender mainstreaming to ensure that women and girls are not taking a disproportionate responsibility for intra-household food security. 
 
SPANISH ABSTRACT: 
La seguridad alimentaria sigue siendo un tema global crítico, dificultado más aún por la creciente población mundial, los desafíos climáticos que afectan a la producción de alimentos y una búsqueda de soluciones centrada en los mercados que socava la producción de subsistencia en las áreas rurales vulnerables. Los países asiáticos donde la pobreza, el hambre y la desnutrición afectan a una proporción significativa de la población son particularmente perjudicados. Basándonos en la teoría de derechos de Sen, argumentamos que un cambio de orientación de una producción de alimentos nacional al acceso de alimentos dentro de los hogares permite hacer una reflexión crítica sobre las estrategias de emparejamiento del consumo adoptadas a este nivel. En particular, llamamos la atención sobre la tendencia de las mujeres y las niñas a consumir menos alimentos como una estrategia de adaptación intra hogar. Presentamos los resultados de nuestra investigación en las áreas rurales de Bangladesh y notamos las estrategias de adaptación adoptadas por los hogares en respuesta a la inseguridad alimentaria. Destacamos que las estrategias diseñadas para abordar la inseguridad alimentaria deben incluir la incorporación de la perspectiva de género para asegurarse de que las mujeres y niñas no estén asumiendo demasiada responsabilidad por la seguridad alimentaria intra hogareña.
 
CHINESE ABSTRACT:
粮食安全仍然是关键性的全球议题,并且因为世界人口增长、影响粮食 生产的气候挑战,以及聚焦以市场为基础的解决方案以至损害脆弱农村 地区的生计生产,而使之愈发困难。特别受到影响的,则是很大比率的 人口饱受贫穷、飢饿与营养不良之苦的亚洲国家。我们运用森(Sen)的 权益理论,主张将焦点从全国粮食生产转移至家户内部的粮食获取,将 能够对此一层级所採用的缓解消费策略进行批判性的反思。我们特别关 注女性和女童以减少食量作为家户内部调适策略的倾向。我们呈现孟加 拉农村地区的研究发现,以及家户为了回应粮食不安全所採取的调适策 略之记录。我们表明,设计用来应对粮食不安全的策略,必须包含性别 主流化,以确保女性和女童不会在家户内部的粮食安全中担负不成比例 的责任。

Keywords: gender, food security, climate change, adaptation, food production, gênero, seguridad alimentaria, cambio climático, adaptación, producción de alimentos, 性别, 粮食安全, 气候变迁, 调适, 粮食生产

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Girls, Gender Mainstreaming, Households, Security Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2016

Women in Natural Disasters: A Case Study from Southern Coastal Region of Bangladesh

Citation:

Alam, Khurshed, and Md. Habibur Rahman. 2014. “Women in Natural Disasters: A Case Study from Southern Coastal Region of Bangladesh.” International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 8 (1): 68–82.

Authors: Khurshed Alam, Md. Habibur Rahman

Abstract:

Natural disasters are frequent phenomena in the coastal regions of Bangladesh, causing significant damage to the coastal community and environment. The present study was conducted in southern coastal region of Bangladesh with the aim to explore women's preparedness, risk and loss, cultural and conditional behaviour, adaptability and recovery capacity from the natural disasters. During disaster a kind of functional disorder gets created where women had to face challenges different from men. Women have to face loss of livelihood opportunities, deprivation from relief materials, sexual harassment and enjoy little scope of participation in any response or management activities. Likewise, they also suffer from inverse care law after disaster. Contrary to that, disaster also creates a condition to accrue diverse positive and constructive impacts including women's transformative role which often do not get reported. Disaster leads the planners to follow not merely the compensatory principle but also restoration and augmentation principles which give more benefits to the low income group of the coast. Nevertheless, in the coast the higher is the loss of property, the lower is the tendency among the dwellers to invest which has a long-lasting effect on capital formation and social development.

Keywords: disaster warning, environmental hazard, disaster preparedness, disaster gain, coping strategy, recovery capacity

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Humanitarian Assistance, Livelihoods, Political Participation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2014

Gender Differences in Human Loss and Vulnerability in Natural Disasters: A Case Study from Bangladesh

Citation:

Ikeda, Keiko. 1995. "Gender Differences in Human Loss and Vulnerability in Natural Disasters: A Case Study from Bangladesh." Indian Journal of Gender Studies 2 (2):171- 93.

Author: Keiko Ikeda

Annotation:

Summary: 
“This paper investigates the gender aspects in human loss and vulnerability during quick on-set natural disasters by examining the case of the April 1991 cyclone in Bangladesh. First, after briefly reviewing some basic arguments on disaster victimisation and gender, the sex and age pattern of mortality in the April 1991 cyclone in Bangladesh is attained by using the results of three micro surveys. Second, the reasons for excessive female deaths are analysed, focusing on the differences in responses between women and men during the cyclone, based on several interviews, one of which was conducted by the author in April 1992. Last, gender issues in victimization and vulnerability during the disaster are discussed in relation to the prevailing norm of purdah which prescribes spatial movement, behavior and attitudes of women” (Ikeda 1995, 171).

Topics: Age, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Gendered Power Relations Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 1995

Women and Floods in Bangladesh

Citation:

Khondker, Habibul Haque. 1996. “Women and Floods in Bangladesh.” International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters 14 (3): 281-92.

Author: Habibul Haque Khondker

Annotation:

Summary:
This paper examines the consequences of a flood disaster on rural women in northern Bangladesh. Based on fieldwork, it is argued that floods affect rural women more adversely than rural men. Floods destroy the household resources undermining the economic well-being of rural women. Researchers and authorities in charge of rehabilitation have not paid enough attention to the uneven impact of flood disasters on gender groups. Women are rarely involved in the decision-making process regarding disaster response. The lack of participation of women in particular and the local community in general in the planning and execution of counterdisaster plans insure that such issues are not noticed. Bureaucratic disaster respondents to be short term in its scope and fails to link disaster response and rehabilitation with development activities. Various nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) operating in rural Bangladesh seem to have closer ties with the local community and a better understanding of the linkage between rehabilitation and development. However, because of the limited scope of their operations and constraints of resources, the influence of these NGOs are not sustainable. The rural women cope on their own. The status quo time is achieved, a continuation of impoverished existence which makes them vulnerable to the next flooding or other such disasters. Successful counterdisaster-response and rehabilitation strategies to development initiatives. This would entail participation of women in counterdisaster plans and assuring the economic well-being of rural women.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Economies, Economic Inequality, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, NGOs Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 1996

Adapting to Climate Change: A Sensitivity Analysis of National Adaptation Programmes of Action Towards Women

Citation:

Anagnostou, Sotiria. 2015. “Adapting to Climate Change: A Sensitivity Analysis of National Adaptation Programmes of Action Towards Women.” PhD diss., Arizona State University.

Author: Sotiria Anagnostou

Abstract:

The most recent decision of the 2012 Conference of the Parties (CoP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) recognizes that in order to create climate policies that respond to the different needs of men and women a more balanced representation of women from developed and developing countries is needed. National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs) provide a process for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to “identify priority activities that respond to their urgent and immediate needs to respond to impending threats from climate change.” Since 1997, the United Nations has agreed to gender mainstreaming- a globally accepted strategy for promoting gender equality by ensuring that gender perspectives and attention to the goal of gender equality are central to all activities in the all UN systems. Due to the gender division of labor climate change will affect men and women differently. Policies and programs that do not take into account the needs and capacities of both men and women will fail to be effective and may worsen preexisting conditions that historically favor men. My research investigates the UN’s commitment towards gender mainstreaming. More specifically my objective is to understand how and to what extent the NAPAs from 49 countries integrate a gender dimension into their national climate adaptation policy. For the purpose of this research, I consider three interrelated issues: whether gender-specific needs and vulnerabilities were identified by the NAPA; if these needs and vulnerabilities were addressed by proposed adaptation projects; and in what forms women participated in the formulation of the NAPA. The scope of this research begins with an overview assessment of 49 NAPAs followed by a comparative assessment of NAPAs from four countries- Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, and Niger, and an in-depth analysis of Nepal’s NAPA, which incorporates field study. Nepal was chosen as a focus country due to its identification as being both inclusive and gender sensitive. The method of inquiry consists of both quantitative and qualitative analysis, utilizing the quantitative measures of HDI and GII and the qualitative methods of content analysis and case study. The findings suggest that the response to the gender dimensions of climate change found in adaptation policies vary widely among the LDCs and the level of response is dependent upon social, cultural, economic, and political contexts within each LDC. Additionally, I find that gender mainstreaming techniques have not been fully integrated into the NAPA policy and processes, and have not been effective at promoting gender equality through adaptation strategies. Recommendations are provided in order to help mainstream gender in NAPAs as they continue to be developed, revised, and implemented.

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, NGOs Regions: Africa, West Africa, Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, Niger

Year: 2015

How Women’s Concerns Are Shaped in Community-Based Disaster Risk Management in Bangladesh

Citation:

Ikeda, Keiko. 2009. “How Women’s Concerns Are Shaped in Community-Based Disaster Risk Management in Bangladesh.” Contemporary South Asia 17 (1): 65–78. doi:10.1080/09584930802624679.

Author: Keiko Ikeda

Abstract:

This article elaborates on how concerns regarding gender in community-based disaster risk management are shaped through interaction between local agents of development and communities in Bangladesh. As women and men have different experiences in disaster, gender concerns should be fully addressed by the community and integrated in the action they take up to reduce disaster risks. The term 'local agents of development' refers to individuals engaged in implementation of development policy in their own community. Recent trends in community-based disaster risk management policy seek what is called a 'whole community approach' engaging various stakeholders such as traditional village elite, 'local civil society' and leaders of community-based organizations - mostly poor villagers supported by non-governmental organizations. Within the context of the historical evolution of community development approaches in Bangladesh, this is quite new in terms of bringing together traditional leaders and poor target groups including women's groups. By drawing from the experience of women and focusing on the functioning of local agents of development during the flood of 2004, the author aims to assess the gaps between the primary concerns of women and those taken up in the risk-reduction action, to see whether, why, and when they have widened or been bridged.

Keywords: disaster management, gender, participation, local elite, Bangladesh

Topics: Development, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Men, Gender Analysis, Humanitarian Assistance, NGOs, Political Participation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2009

Food Crisis, Nutrition, and Female Children in Rural Bangladesh

Citation:

Bairagi, Radheshyam. 1986. “Food Crisis, Nutrition, and Female Children in Rural Bangladesh.” Population and Development Review 12 (2): 307–15.

Author: Radheshyam Bairagi

Abstract:

Although almost all nations show lower female than male mortality, Bangladesh and certain other developing countries show higher female mortality rates. Among children aged 1 to 4 in Bangladesh, female mortality rates are 45% higher for girls than for boys. This paper examines whether 1) sex biased attitudes toward nutrition (as expressed in terms of food intake) are more marked during food crises, and 2) these biases are related to the socioeconomic status of the family. The study measured weight and height of approximately 1400 children aged 1 to 4 in Bangladesh from April 1975 (10 months after the famine began) through December 1976 (14 months after the famine ended). The findings clearly indicate that sex and social status are strong correlates of nutritional status. Children of higher status families with larger homes fared better throughout the time period. Within each status category, boys fared better than girls. While poor families were harder hit by famine than wealthier ones, male-female nutritional discrimination was stronger among the higher classes. These differences were accentuated during the famine period. Policy makers and planners in Bangladesh must be made aware that such sex biases exist and that these patterns are exacerbated during food shortages. (NCBI)

Topics: Class, Economies, Economic Inequality, Poverty, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Girls Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 1986

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