Training on ‘Gender-Climate Nexus: Towards Equitable and Inclusive Transformation’ kicks off
"Enhancing adaptive capacities of coastal communities, especially women, to cope with climate change induced salinity" project funded by the Green Climate Fund (USD 24.98 Million) and the Government of Bangladesh (USD 8 Million) is a 6'years duration (2018 - 2024) project of UNDP Bangladesh targeted to support an estimated 719,229 people (about 245,516 direct and 473,713 indirect) in Khulna and Satkhira districts of coastal Bangladesh popularly known as 'Gender- responsive Coastal Adaptation' (GCA) Project. Under this project, a three-day (3-5 June 2021), training event on "Gender-Climate Nexus: Towards Equitable and Inclusive Transformation" is organized at the Pan Pacific Sonargoan Hotel today in Dhaka, for the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs (MoWCA), Department of Women Affairs (DWA), Economic Relations Division (ERD), Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE) and other government officials. The Director General of Department of Women Affairs (DWA) presided over the opening session of the training. Honorable State Minster of Ministry of Women and Children Affairs (MoWCA), Ms. Fazilatun Nessa Indira MP, was present as Chief Guest in the programme. Among the Special Guests, Secretary of Ministry of Women and Children Affairs (MoWCA), Mr. Md. Sayedul Islam and Resident Representative of UNDP, Mr. Sudipto Mukerjee were present in the event.
Mr. Iqbal Hussain, Joint-Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Affairs and National Project Director, GCA Project while sharing the objectives of the training in his opening speech mentioned, through this training the capacity of representative officials from the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs (MoWCA), Department of Women Affairs (DWA), Economic Relations Division (ERD) and Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE) on Gender and Climate nexus would increase, Ministry of Women and Children Affairs (MoWCA) would act as catalyst in influencing other ministries to integrate gender responsive climate actions, and open up collaboration opportunities for Gender-responsive Coastal Adaptation Project to connect with potential collaborations with projects and programmes and opportunities.
The Chief Guest, Honorable State Minster of Ministry of Women and Child Affairs (MoWCA) Fazilatun Nesa Indira MP said, "Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world because of climate change. But Bangladesh is not responsible for the cause of climate change. Adverse effects of climate change have resulted in severe cyclones, tidal surges and rising sea levels in coastal areas of Bangladesh, leading to the infiltration of saltwater into freshwater areas. Salt water poses a health risk to women in the south of the country. Women are losing their jobs.
She also said, "With the support of the Government of Bangladesh, Green Climate Fund and UNDP address the climate tolerant livelihoods and drinking water of the people at risk. Due to the adverse effects of climate change, the Adaptive Capacity Enhancement Project is being implemented."
She hoped that the project would definitely help in enhancing the climate adaptation capacity of the poor people of coastal area.
The Resident Representative of UNDP Mr. Sudipto, Mukerjee said, Climate change severely impacted water and agriculture of coastal areas and women and children are those who are at most risks. Women are conventionally engaged in important management roles of food, health, drinking water, livestock, trees, and agricultural crops in the household. These areas being impacted by climate change resulted in higher pressure on drinking water and firewood collection and thus increased burden of household unpaid care work. According to a report of UNDP, climate change has negative impact on pregnant women and reproductive health of adolescent girls. We have observed that women are twice more susceptible to death and injury than men are during disaster. Now it is time to have women in the lead to respond to disasters.
Participants could improve their knowledge and skills from this gender and climate nexus training. Attendees participating in the programme were hopeful that the knowledge from this gender-Climate Nexus Training would help them contribute in planning and implementation of gender-responsive climate adaptive projects and programmes in future. Here to mention, the project is going to be implemented in 101 wards of 39 unions of 5 upazilas (Dacope, Paikgachha, Koyra, Asashuni and Shyamnagar) of Khulna and Satkhira districts for the next 5 years to provide climate resilient livelihood and drinking water solutions to the vulnerable people. The project will be implemented by 1) Department of Women's Affairs and 2) Department of Public Health Engineering under the leadership of the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs. UNDP, as the accredited entity of this project, is responsible for technical support and quality assurance. Key objective of the project is to support the Government of Bangladesh in strengthening the adaptive capacities of coastal communities, especially women, to cope with impacts of climate change induced salinity on their livelihoods and water security.