Rights-based civil society representatives on Friday demanded urgent action to safeguard the lives and livelihoods of women and female adolescents, whose health is n danger owing to the adverse effects of climate change.

They came up with the demand at a virtual press conference held today on the eve of the International Rural Women’s Day to be celebrated on Saturday.

The National Committee for International Rural Women’s Day Celebration organized the press conference.

Speakers in the press conference opined that the health, livelihood, and environment of the people of the coastal areas, lowlands, and hills have been affected the most due to the impact of climate change.

Its impact on food, nutrition, livelihood as well as the health of women and girls is severe, they added.

The speakers identified forced use of excessive saline water as one of the most harmful effects of climate change. 

Excessive use of saline water causes various uterine diseases, the disruption of menstrual health and hygiene in girls, and skin diseases. The lack of fresh water in mountain ranges due to deforestation also creates such hazards for women and girls, the speakers said.  

From the press conference, a call was made to establish water purification plants at government expense in saline areas, to provide specialized services to women and girls in community clinics, and to strengthen alternative employment creation.

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In her keynote speech, Tamanna Rahman termed women and girls as the first victims of any disaster.

“According to research, the amount of salt entering women’s bodies with drinking water is causing more miscarriages in women in coastal areas than in other parts of the country. Due to the lack of clean water, most girls are forced to wash their menstrual clothes with salt water, which causes various diseases in their uterus,” said Tamanna.

Tamanna added that women living in hilly areas suffer from malnutrition.

“Many of them (Women living in hills) fall ill while collecting water along the hilly terrain. Considering these realities, it is important to adopt and implement special plans for the people of this region. In particular, the government has to ensure the health, nutrition, livelihood, and emergency healthcare of women living in hills,” Tamanna added.

 

The virtual event was chaired by National Committee on International Rural Women’s Day Celebration Chairperson Shamima Akhter and was moderated by Ferdous Ara Rumee. Tamanna Rahman presented the keynote speech, while committee members including Masuda Farooq Rata and Manju Ara Begum spoke at the event.

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