Oxfam hosts session on Empowering Women in Climate Action at Gobeshona 6 Conference.
A parallel session of the second day of Gobeshona 6 was hosted by Oxfam on the topic “Empowering women in Climate Action”. The session was chaired by Dr. Md. Khalid Hossain, Economic Justice and Resilience Manager, Oxfam in Bangladesh, and the moderator was Mr. Tapas Ranjan Chakraborty, Disaster Financing Coordinator, and Acting ICT & Development Coordinator, Oxfam in Bangladesh.
A presentation on the session title was given by Ms Tahmina Khan Tithi, which discussed Oxfam’s activities in reducing the vulnerability of women in the face of climate change. She spoke of their Participatory Research and Ownership with Technology, Information and Change (PROTIC) project. PROTIC was implemented in Coastal, Riverine Charland, and Haor Basin ecosystems to empower women through the introduction of technology in agricultural practices.
Ms Srijita Dasgupta, Climate Change Consultant at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) presented on “Gendered Based Vulnerabilities and Adaptation to a Changing Climate: A case study in Tra Hat Hamlet, Bac Lieu Province, Vietnam”
In terms of her research in Vietnam, the main objective of her study was to better understand gendered livelihood activities, climate change perceptions, adaptation/coping strategies and access to resources within the male and female headed households in Tra Hat Hamlet, that potentially act as constraints to improving their adaptation processes and food security, under projected climate stresses.
Dr Syed Manzoor Ahmed Hanifi, icddr,b presented on “Higher Risk of Miscarriage among Bangladeshi Coastal women” – a study carried out in the Chakaria region of Bangladesh near the Sundarbans. He talked about how climate change is related with miscarriage. A survey including 90,000 individuals showed that women who lives closest to the sea had a higher percentage of miscarriages. This study linked the high salt intake due to presence of saline water in these regions to the higher risk of miscarriages; particularly aggravated by gestational hypertension and preeclampsia caused by high salt intake.
Mr Abdullah Al Mahmud of the Population Council presented on “Impact of drinking saline water on developing hypertension among pregnant women in coastal regions of Bangladesh”. He conducted studies across 5 different coastal unions of Dacope upazila in Khulna to illustrate a more vivid image of the behavioral patterns of pregnant women in the coastal regions and the health risks they may be vulnerable to. His findings echoed that of Dr Hanifi’s in that pregnant women in coastal regions are at risk of developing hypertension due to prolonged intake of saline water.
Ms Zuairia Zahra Haq of the Bangladesh University of Professionals, presented on “Realities of Female Migrants Due to Climate Change: A Study of Mollah Slum, Dhaka, Bangladesh”. She related female migration to climate change by doing a study of Mollah Slum in Mirpur-12, Dhaka, Bangladesh.The reasons she identified behind such huge rural to urban migration are river bank erosion, floods, lack of agricultural jobs, among many. Majority of these women opted to seek employment in the garments industry. The presentation discussed the risks these women faced while living in these slums, as well as the benefits they have gained such as financial independence.