(Khulna, 18 June 2012) Vulnerable women of coastal zone are ignored in the approved 83 projects under Climate Change Trust Fund (BCCTF) although the Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (BCCTF) highly emphasised on gender and women vulnerabilities. So far, only one project has been taken in only Bhola districts which focus on women and children's risks. As the women are severely victimised by impacts of climate change, major efforts should be given on them.
The speakers said it today in a press conference jointly organised by Humanitywatch, Participatory Research and Action Network (PRAN) and Population Action International at Hotel Royal International, Khulna. Humanitywatch chief executive Hasan Mehedi presented the written speech before the journalists from print and electronic media. Environmental economist Professor Anowarul Quadir, civic leader Advocate Firoz Ahmed, senior Information Officer M Zaved Iqbal and journalist Gouranga Nandy addressed the journalists among others.
Women in the coastal zone of Bangladesh are highly affected by climate change. They are in 14 times more risk than the male counterpart, said Mr. Mehedi in his written speech. The women have to walk more than 10-12 kilometres for collecting potable water for their families. Sometimes they are subjected to sexual harassment during water collection, said Gouranga Nandy. Professor Anowarul Quadir said that the women can be affected by several reproductive diseases by taking saline water and working hard during conceive period. He said, food grain production is likely to decrease and women will be the first victim of food and nutrition shortage whereas the women are the inventor of local adaptation technologies in Bangladesh.
Civic leader Advocate Firoz Ahmed said, the projects can be implemented smoothly by involving women as participant who are entitled to the service delivery. He asked the journalists to highlight the problems of women in the coastal zone so that the Government can realise the situation and incorporate the issues in the adaptation plan. He said, adaptation programmes cannot be successful without involving women in them because women are the main force in rural areas of Bangladesh.
In the written speech, the green groups raised 7 point demands including (a) clearly defining the vulnerabilities of women due to climate change (b) approving projects on gender and reproductive health under BCCTF (c) reviewing ongoing projects and incorporate gender and reproductive health by redesigning implementation process (d) establishing a monitoring system for each and every adaptation projects to ensure proper gender mainstreaming (d) giving priority to the women-headed family, divorcee, widow and women abandoned by husband in climate adaptation projects (e) development of a set of indicator to assess the climate adaptation projects from gender-aspects, and (f) launch population control and reproductive health service program under climate adaptation plans.
Amal Saha of daily Janakantha, Quazi Amanullah of daily Star, Abu Tayeb of NTV, Mallick Sudhangsu of daily Sakaler Khabor, HM Alauddin of daily Purbanchal, Hedait Hossain of daily Jugantor, Kamal Hossain of daily Spandan, Harun-Or-Rashid of daily Anirban, Ehteshamul Huq Shaon of daily Amar Desh, Debnath Ranjit Kumar of daily dakkhinanchal, Abul Hasan Himaloy of daily Samakal, Ahmed Musa Ranju of daily Somoyer Khobor, Mahbubur Rahman Munna of Banglanews.24.com, Shariful Islam Salim and Nasim Rahman Kiron of Humanitywatch was present in the press conference among others.