Climate change adversely affects the lives and livelihoods of 90% of women, and violates their human rights in the coastal regions of Bagerhat and Satkhira, a study has revealed.

The study found a nexus between human rights and climate change based on factors including gender, race, caste, ethnicity, and financial level.

The report was revealed by the Center for Participatory Research and Development (CPRD) at a seminar titled “Climate Injustice Vs Gender Justice: Why should this matter?” on Thursday.

The study uses 17 cases from the Mongla upazila under the Bagerhat district and Shyamnagar upazila under the Satkhira district, with an age range of 35-60 years.

More than 90% of women from both upazilas have experienced loss and damage, and unbearable health crises due to cyclones, riverbank erosion, and storm surges. 

There were 88.8% affected by cyclones in Mongla, 45.5% by salinity, and 48.8% by river bank erosion, while in Shyamnagar there were 97% affected by cyclones, 53% by storm surges, and 53% by salinity.

The study also finds that nearly 64% of women in Mongla and 54% in Shyamnagar are facing reproductive health problems.

Meanwhile, many women in those areas have lost their uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.

The study also shows that 38.3% of children in Mongla and 50% of Shyamnagar, dropped out of school before finishing high school, and become victims of child marriage. 

National Human Rights Commission Chairman Prof Kamal Uddin Ahmed said mismanagement is the main cause of gender-based injustices against coastal women.

He urged the government to meet the fundamental rights of people in these areas by setting up a strong monitoring system. 

 The project coordinator of the CPRD, Akib Jabed, presented the findings of the study.

 CPRD Chief Executive Shamsuddoha said the impact of climate change on people’s lives and livelihoods is vast and multidimensional.

An individual’s degree of vulnerability to a disaster depends on a set of factors such as gender, race, color, ethnicity, geographic location, and financial ability to recover, he added.

The study recommendations include providing affordable support to grow small and medium enterprises, ensuring reproductive health issues, and social safety net, upgrading cyclone shelter by providing mineral water and hygienic facilities and setting up proper monitoring to curb corruption and bring money lenders under monitoring.  

Dean and Professor at BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health Prof Sabina Fiaz Rashid,   Disaster Forum Member Secretary Gawher Nayeem, and UNDP Assistant Resident Prasenjit Chakma were present at the event.

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