Fifty women leaders from around the south-west of Bangladesh were brought together to learn about the challenges and opportunities of rural women in severely climate-affected areas of the country. This report reflects the discussions and concerns of women leaders in resilience, disaster preparedness, and climate change, and gives key recommendations for development partners working in gender and climate change.
Key recommendations include the following:
- Ensure the participation of women in developing community-based early information and warning systems (including education and communication activities), that use local resources and knowledge, including formal and informal dissemination avenues, especially for at-risk groups or individuals.
- Promote the engagement of women in community-based disaster management structures to ensure facilities and processes in emergency shelters are sensitive to women’s needs for privacy, security and protection of assets.
- Provide female physicians and counsellors for women, ensuring they have access to sexual and reproductive health information. Female counsellors can provide psychosocial support for women, and women that may be affected by domestic violence at home or in emergency shelters. Advocate for the safety of these groups.
- Consult with women to ensure any relief provided meets their needs and is socially and culturally appropriate. Consider cash transfers as a way to allow flexibility in household recovery.
- Encourage women’s employment through participation in disaster recovery, increasing their income-generating and skills capacity.