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8:46 am | April 17, 2024
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womens lives are at greater risk of climate change
Bangladesh Environmental Problems Environmental Science

Women’s lives are at greater risk of climate change

Women’s lives are at greater risk of climate change

Bangladesh is considered to be the world’s largest delta, which is particularly vulnerable to climate change due to its geographical location.

Bangladesh is vulnerable to cyclones, tidal surges, high salinity, sea level rise, drought, erratic rainfall, and flash floods due to its funnel-shaped southern coast and being a riverine country.

According to the Global Climate Risk Index (GCRI), Bangladesh is one of the top ten countries for climate change and ranks seventh in the long-term (1998–2017) risk index.

Women, children, disabled, and marginalized people are most at risk due to climate change. Residents living in Bangladesh’s coastal townships, Hawran areas, and Teesta-Jamuna-Brahmaputra basin flood and river erosion-prone areas are constantly under climate risk.

Women of this region are fighting various economic, social, and physical problems. The Prime Minister of Bangladesh acknowledged during a panel discussion at COP26 that vulnerable and marginalized people worldwide are heavily impacted by climate change due to various socio-economic and cultural factors. Women are one of them.

This climate change has massive social impacts on women and children. People’s employment is shrinking day by day in climate-affected areas. Because of this, men with families are moving either permanently or at certain times of the year to find new opportunities. This is causing an increase in seasonal migration.

A recent study by the Center for People and Environment (CPE), funded by Food for Hungry, shows that 27.05 percent in Patuakhali district, 9.05 percent in Cox’s Bazar district, 33.9 percent in Barguna district are seasonal migrations for the sake of livelihood.

Women are adversely affected by this migration. Migrant men practicing polygamy contribute to the increasing divorce rates and the rise of female-headed households.

The study also shows that most of the seasonal migrants work in brick kilns. When families migrate with women and children, they often face sexual harassment while working in brick kilns. This situation also affects their health significantly. Poverty is increasing in climate-prone areas.

That is why poor families are marrying girls to reduce economic risk. This increases the rate of child marriage. Another study recently conducted by CPE in Khulna and Satkhira funded by the Danish Refugee Council found that child marriage rates in Khulna’s Dakop and Koira were 18.14 and 8.30 percent.

Due to climate change in coastal districts, salinity is increasing every year and adversely affecting women’s reproductive health. Diseases are increasing due to fishing in saltwater and using too much saltwater for food and daily activities in coastal areas.

Salinity is increasing every year due to climate change in coastal districts and adversely affecting women’s reproductive health. In coastal areas, brackish water fishing and the use of excess salt water for food and daily activities are increasing the incidence of diseases.

In Asashuni, Kaliganj, and Shyamnagar Upazilas of Satkhira district, 39.9, 41.0, and 40.0 percent of women and girls are said to be suffering from reproductive health problems respectively.

Due to these complications in the reproductive health of girls, child marriage of girls is increasing in these areas and women are facing various physical problems due to giving birth at a young age.

Local social security is collapsing. According to the study, incidents like the trafficking of women and children and violence against women are increasing in climate-prone areas.

This risk is increasing day by day due to women’s lack of access to resources and services, lack of equality in society and family, lack of adaptation skills, limited or no participation in economic activities, lack of opportunities to participate in adaptation planning, etc.

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