BIGD seminar on Climate Change
Women can play a central role in adaptation to climate change,
Research findings say

Being the primary victim of climate change impacts, women can play a central role in adaptation to climate change. Therefore, when it comes to decision-making and implementation towards building resilient communities in the face of climate change, the full and meaningful participation of women become essential, said Ms. Amy MacMahon, a PhD candidate from the University of Queensland in a seminar on climate change, organized by BIGD on January 21, 2016 at the BIGD Conference Room.

Chaired by BIGD Research Fellow Dr. Shanawez Hossain, Ms. Amy was presenting a paper titled Adaptation, Environmental Change and Gender Relations in Bagerhat: A Sociological Analysis in the seminar.

Sem CC 2Ms. Amy MacMahon delivering her presentation at the seminar

In her presentation, Ms. Amy discussed sociological perspectives on climate change, gender and adaptation initiatives in Bangladesh. She said, recognition of environmental changes at the local level is there, but understanding of climate change is still limited. There is limited functionality of the Disaster Management Committees (DMC), limited Shelters, limited opportunity for women’s movement independently, limited opportunities for income of women. In most cases women still rely on men to access markets. However, women’s contributions to adaptation processes were seen more as an effort to contribute to their families. In terms of governance aspect, she added that, there is little knowledge of Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan 2009 (BCCSAP) or Climate Change Gender Action Plans (ccGAP) at the local level. Governance is still a concern due to DMC’s limited functionality, limited willingness among public servants to discuss climate change and heavy focus on disaster-based infrastructure.

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The presentation was followed by a Q/A session. Dr. Sultan Hafeez Rahman, Executive Director of BIGD delivered concluding remarks at the seminar. Among others, researchers from BIGD, representatives from BRAC disaster management programme and BRAC University climate change programme were present at the seminar.