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Demand for special actions to protect health, livelihoods of climate vulnerable women

Published : Saturday, 15 October, 2022 at 12:00 AM  Count : 750

Rights-based civil society representatives have demanded urgent action to safeguard the lives and livelihoods of women and adolescents, whose health is in danger owing to the adverse effects of climate change.
They made this comment at a virtual press conference held on Friday focusing International Rural Women's Day which is being celebrated today (Saturday) across the country.
The event was organised by The National Committee for International Rural Women's Day Observation.
Speakers noted that the adverse impact of climate change which is seriously affecting the life and livelihood of people from agro- ecological zones of Bangladesh including coastal areas, lowlands, hills and mountains.
Of them, it is the women and girls who are facing the worst impact of such calamities beginning from lack of food and nutrition to various health hazards including uterine and skin diseases, the disruption of menstrual health and hygiene management.
In hilly areas lack of fresh water cause multiple health hazards to women and girls.
Some recommendation with regard to the problem came up at the event including establishing water purification plants at government expenses in saline prone areas, special health services for women and girls in the local community clinics and also creating alternative job employment.  
Shamima Akhter, Chairperson of the International Rural Women's Day Celebration National Committee chaired the event while Ferdous Ara Rumee moderated the event.
Besides, other committee members including Masuda Farooq Rata, Manju Ara Begum, Syed Aminul Hoque, Sheikh Asad, Salma Akter, Monowara Pervin,Tahrima Afroz, Syeda Shamima Sultana,Protiva Banerjee, Mustafa Kamal Akand and others also spoke at the programme.
Tamanna Rahman who presented the keynote speech said that the worst negative impact of climate change hits especially the people  belonging to coastal, haor, char and hilly areas.
According to research, coastal women's health in coastal regions is adversely affected because they drink saline water.
Some must have hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) to save their lives and this type of surgery is leading to complications in their married lives.
On the other hand, mountain women suffer from malnutrition and also the risk of child marriage which are increasing due to such existing calamities in the rural areas.
Masuda Farooq Rata said that the children of climate vulnerable families are being forced to work for their survival and also arranging their child to get married off due to financial and social insecurity.
And such trend drives adolescent mothers towards the risk of death, said Manju Ara Begum.
Syed Aminul Hoque demanded to create an alternative employment opportunities especially for the women of haor and coastal areas and to avail these jobs they should be trained up well.  
Ferdous Ara Rumee said, every community clinic at the union level should provide women's reproductive health services with trained nurses and free materials (sanitary pads, birth control materials), etc.
Shamima Akhter said, women are suffering from common water-borne diseases including leucorrhea due to the use of salt water for daily household work such as bathing, agricultural work, cattle rearing, shrimp hatching, and other economic activities.
On behalf of the organizers, Mustafa Kamal Akand said, International Rural Women's Day is being celebrated in more than 60 districts of the country. Like every year, the day is celebrated across the country through various programmes including rallies, seminars, human bonding, organizing fairs, and giving awards to rural women for their contribution to various fields.

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