Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

Bangladesh

Gender, Environment and Migration in Bangladesh

Citation:

Evertsen, Kathinka Fossum, and Kees van der Geest. 2019. "Gender, Environment and Migration in Bangladesh." Climate and Development, April, 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1080/17565529.2019.1596059.

Authors: Kathinka Fossum Evertsen, Kees van der Geest

Abstract:

This article addresses how gender norms impact the process of migration, and what this means for the use of migration as an adaptation strategy to cope with environmental stressors. Data was collected through qualitative fieldwork, taking the form of semi-structured and open-ended interviews and focus group discussions from a Dhaka slum and three villages in Southern Bangladesh's Bhola district. Our data revealed that women migrate when environmental stress threatens livelihoods and leave male household members unable to earn enough income for their families. Employing an analytical framework that focuses on the perceptions of individuals, this article shows how gender norms create social costs for women who migrate. Women thus have ambivalent feelings about migration. On the one hand, they do not wish to migrate, taking on a double work load, forsaking their purdah, and facing the stigma that follows. On the other hand, women see migration as a means to help their families, and live a better life. While social costs negatively affect the utilization and efficiency of female migration as an adaptation strategy to environmental stressors, it becomes clear that female migration is imperative to sustain livelihoods within the Bhola community.

Keywords: gender, environment, climate change, migration, adaptation

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Roles, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2019

Post-Conflict Ruptures and the Space for Women's Empowerment in Bangladesh

Citation:

Hossain, Naomi. 2018. “Post-Conflict Ruptures and the Space for Women's Empowerment in Bangladesh.” Women's Studies International Forum 68: 104–12.

Author: Naomi Hossain

Abstract:

Bangladesh is widely deemed to have made rapid progress on gender equality and women's empowerment. How to understand the apparent advances of women in a poor, populous, Muslim-majority country in the belt of classic patriarchy? This paper locates the origins of these changes in the immediate aftermath of Bangladesh's struggle for independence in 1971, when a series of visible ruptures to the patriarchal bargain dramatized the ongoing crisis of social reproduction. This drew elite attention to the conditions of landless rural women, creating space for their programmatic inclusion in the political settlement, within a newly biopolitical project of national development. The paper argues that it is possible to make sense of the gains women have made as well as old and new obstacles to gender justice - including women's continuing responsibility for care - in this critical juncture in the political history of gender relations in Bangladesh.

Keywords: Bangladesh, women's empowerment, biopower, patriarchal bargains, post-conflict gender relations

Topics: Armed Conflict, National Liberation Wars, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2018

Suffering for Water, Suffering from Water: Emotional Geographies of Resource Access, Control and Conflict

Citation:

Sultana, Farhana. 2011. "Suffering for Water, Suffering from Water: Emotional Geographies of Resource Access, Control and Conflict." Geoforum 42 (2): 163-72. 

Author: Farhana Sultana

Abstract:

This article argues that resource access, use, control, ownership and conflict are not only mediated through social relations of power, but also through emotional geographies where gendered subjectivities and embodied emotions constitute how nature–society relations are lived and experienced on a daily basis. By engaging the insights from feminist political ecology literatures and emotional geographies literatures, the article demonstrates that resource struggles and conflicts are not just material challenges but emotional ones, which are mediated through bodies, spaces and emotions. Such a focus fleshes out the complexities, entanglements and messy relations that constitute political ecologies of resources management, where practices and processes are negotiated through constructions of gender, embodiments, and emotions. Abstractions of ‘resource struggles’ and ‘resource conflicts’ are thereby grounded in embodied emotional geographies of places, peoples, and resources, enabling us to better understand the ways resources and emotions come to matter in everyday survival struggles. This framing can enrich feminist political ecology theorizations and texture our understandings of commonly used terms such as access, use, control, conflict and struggles vis-à-vis natural resources in any context. In other words, we are better able to conceptualize and explain how and why people access, use, and struggle over resources the ways they do. A case study of drinking water contamination from Bangladesh is used to develop the theoretical arguments in contributing to existing debates in (feminist) political ecologies.

Keywords: political ecology, emotional geography, resource access, conflict, gender, water, Bangladesh

Topics: Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, conflict, Gendered Discourses, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Political Economies Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2011

A Well of One's Own: Gender Analysis of an Irrigation Program in Bangladesh

Citation:

Jordans, Eva, and Margreet Zwarteveen. 1997. A Well of One's Own: Gender Analysis of an Irrigation Program in Bangladesh. Colombo: International Irrigation Management Institute. 

Authors: Eva Jordans, Margreet Zwarteveen

Annotation:

Table of Contents:
1. Introduction
 
2. Research Methodology
 
3. Gender Relations and Irrigated Agriculture
 
4. Gender Policies and Strategies of GKF
 
5. Irrigation-Related Activities of GKF
 
6. Conclusions and Discussion
 

Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods, Political Participation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 1997

Deconstructing Resilience: Why Gender and Power Matter in Responding to Climate Stress in Bangladesh

Citation:

Jordan, J. C. 2019. “Deconstructing Resilience: Why Gender and Power Matter in Responding to Climate Stress in Bangladesh.” Climate and Development 11 (2): 167–79. 

Author: J.C. Jordan

Abstract:

Resilience is increasingly becoming the new buzz word. This paper examines the utility of the concept of resilience for understanding the gendered experiences of women to climate stress, through case study research in South-west Bangladesh. It provides evidence that resilience, as commonly understood, is inadequate for understanding the intersecting vulnerabilities that women face because of embedded socio-cultural norms and practices. These vulnerabilities culminate in a gendered experience of climate stress, where some groups of women are more likely go without education, food and access to good quality water. Such circuits of control highlight the importance of a more radical, transformational, gendered and power sensitive frame for moving beyond coping mechanisms to strategies that deal with the fundamental root causes of vulnerability to climate stress. A failure to do so risks further reinforcing gender inequalities due to the reality of social difference and inequities within local power structures.

Keywords: Resilience, vulnerability, gender, climate stress, Bangladesh

Topics: Education, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2019

Are Climate Challenges Reinforcing Child and Forced Marriage and Dowry as Adaptation Strategies in the Context of Bangladesh?

Citation:

Alston, Margaret, Kerri Whittenbury, Alex Haynes, and Naomi Godden. 2014. “Are Climate Challenges Reinforcing Child and Forced Marriage and Dowry as Adaptation Strategies in the Context of Bangladesh?” Women’s Studies International Forum 47 (November): 137–44.

Authors: Margaret Alston, Kerri Whittenbury, Alex Haynes, Naomi Godden

Annotation:

Summary:
This paper outlines the link between child and forced marriage, dowry and climate changes in Bangladesh. Drawing on a three year research study on the gendered impacts of climate change, we argue that climate crises are creating significant economic hardships. This has led to dowry being viewed by the families of young men as a form of capital accumulation. For the families of girls, dowry has become a significant burden, a burden that increases with the age of the girl. We argue that the economic crises created by climate challenges are leading to an increase in child and forced marriages because the dowry is cheaper. We conclude that attention to climate challenges must take a much broader focus on social consequences in order to protect the human rights of women and girls in vulnerable communities. (Summary from original source)

Topics: Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2014

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

Pages

© 2019 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.

Subscribe to RSS - Bangladesh