The participation of women in socio-economic and cultural sectors is imperative to ensuring sustainable development in tackling the effects of climate change, reveals an action plan prepared in this regard.  

The Climate Change Gender Action Plan (ccGAP), as it is called, also mentioned that the impacts of climate change are highly likely to be gendered owing to different gender roles and distinctive division of labour between men and women within the households in Bangladesh. 

First prepared in 2013 by the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, the updated draft of the ccGAP was discussed at the “National Consultation on Update on Climate Change Gender Action Plan” in Dhaka on October 26, 2022. 

The UN Women and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) jointly organized the event, whose focal point was from the recent study “State of Gender Equality and Climate Change in Bangladesh”, which is mentioned in the draft ccGAP. 

The draft has been updated by UN Women in partnership with Bangladesh Climate Change Trust with technical support from the IUCN, the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies and the Centre for Climate Change and Environmental Research (C3ER).

The aim of the action plan is to identify women’s climate vulnerability, women’s engagement in agriculture and the benefits of gender-sensitive government services from broader perspectives.

“We all know women are more vulnerable to climate change. And UN Women is dedicated to ensuring gender equality and the empowerment of women,” said the organisation’s programme specialist, Dilruba Haider. 

Citing that climate change vulnerabilities and strengths are different in Bangladesh, C3ER Consultant Sharmind Neelormi said: “We need to connect climate change and numerous variabilities differently. 

“We have to keep an eye on how the cyclone-related adversities and displacements, both temporarily and permanently, are being dealt with,” Neelormi added.   

Farhina Ahmed, secretary of the minister, said: “Though we have many policies, we do not have enough capacities. All the relevant government ministries and departments need to work together to ensure gender equality.” 

She suggested that more collaborative approaches, and a strengthened capacity for specialized knowledge, and skills on gender equality be in place. 

The other discussants mainly spoke of social protection plans for different climate change hotspots so women can function as changemakers there.

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