Women's voices, responsibilities and knowledge on environment, and the challenges they face need to be central to the adaptive response to a rapidly changing climate, rights activists said recently.
They said climate change is disproportionately affecting women and girls. Meaning, to achieve sustainable development, gender equality must be ensured first.
Speakers made the comments during a webinar titled "Women breaking biases for climate justice" aligning with the international theme, "Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow", on Sunday organised by ActionAid Bangladesh ahead of the International Women's Day 2022.
"Though significant progress has been made by women across the globe since countries came into an agreement about the importance of women's participation in climate action at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference. All citizens, including young people, scientists, researchers, owners of multinational companies, must play a conscious and important role in solving this problem,'' Saleemul Huq, director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development, said on the occasion.
Farah Kabir, country director, ActionAid Bangladesh said, "Women in Bangladesh face greater challenges compared to men for climate change, due to increased sexual harassment during any crisis; increased water-related stresses all over Bangladesh leading to increased school dropouts of girls and child marriage; tripled burden because of displacement and migration associated with climate change impacts."
At the event, four grassroots women leaders were awarded the "16th Nasreen Smriti Padak-2022" for their exemplary contribution in various fields, including fighting sexual harassment, tackling Covid-19, entrepreneurship, etc. The awardees for this year are Shahanaz Begum Mukti (46) from Gaibandha, Mini Akter (21) from Jamalpur, Naice Akter (34) from Bogura, and Shakila Islam (27) from Barishal.
This Award is a signature initiative by ActionAid Bangladesh in memory of Nasreen Parvin Huq, former country director of ActionAid Bangladesh.