“Women play a crucial role as users and managers of natural resources. We have much to learn from these women. With the new project one seeks to strengthen women’s knowledge and expertise through pre- and post-disaster leadership training. The project will moreover create new livelihood options for families and local communities living in disaster prone areas, based on the knowledge and experiences of local women”, said Ambassador Ragne Birte Lund at the launch. “The fact that women participate at all levels in the three-year long project creates prospects for development of knowledge and measures that can help turn Bangladesh’s vulnerability to the impact of climate change and help the local communities become champions of climate adaption, with women at the head”, she added.
The project was also welcomed by the government: “Although significant progress has been made to achieve gender equality and promote women's participation and opportunities in both public and private spheres, women remain most vulnerable to natural calamities. They have limited access to resources and to opportunities. In such a scenario, this programme is very timely and pertinent,” said Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Honourable State Minister from the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs (MoWCA). Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Mesbah ul Alam stressed how the project will supplement the monitoring of the country’s climate strategy. Participants at the launch, representing local communities, showed great engagement and eagerness to take part in the project. The women made clear that their role in decision making processes have to be strengthened.
Woman speaking up.
Through its support to the project, named Reducing Vulnerability of Women Affected by Climate Change Through Livelihood Options, Norway has brought together UN-organs, central and local governments and powerful local partners to a joint initiative for women and climate. The support, counting 18 million NOK over three years, comes from the Norwegian government’s yearly grant of 100 million NOK for women’s contribution to climate adaption. BRAC and BCAS will implement the project in cooperation with local groups.
By empowering women they will be able to contribute with their knowledge and experiences in the work on climate adaption and measures for sustainable livelihood options, making local community better prepared for the changes to come. Focus is on coastal, flood prone and drought prone districts. The long-term goal is that local communities will take over and continue the work of the project.
For more information:
Full Statement of the Norwegian Ambassador
UN Women Press Release
Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies