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INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE

On

MIGRATION, GENDER AND HUMAN SECURITY IN AN ERA OF GLOBAL STRUCTURAL CHANGE AND CRISIS

1-2 July, 2010 International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Erasmus University Rotterdam Kortenaerkade 12, The Hague, The Netherlands

Paper Submitted on

Theme 2. Environmental Crisis, Gender and Migration: The Politics of Knowledge and its Translation

Submitted by

Razia Sultana Research Officer Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) 1/46, Old Elephant Road, Dhaka-1000 Bangladesh

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Climate Change, Gender and Migration: The Vulnerabilities and Insecurities of Women in Southern Part of Bangladesh

I.

Introduction

Environmental crisis or climate change has become one of the important features of human security. By now, the massive environmental transformation has turned into a precarious shape in some countries of Asia and Africa that has brought an adverse impact on women. The issue of climate change is also affected inter alia migration of human being. While migration is a social phenomenon, migrants are often treated harshly as they are exposed to violence and aggression. Even if, migration is considered as gender neutral, it does not occur in most cases as women are vulnerable while moving from one place to another. In fact, the relations among environmental crisis, migration and gender are not direct but intertwined. For instance, environmental crises induce migration that leads to human insecurity of displaced people through undermining livelihoods, increasing conflicts over resources as well as galvanizing other concomitant challenges. With the widespread population movement, women become more sufferers than men as it is difficult for the former to ensure access to credit and ensure livelihoods during and after the disaster strikes. Often, the influx of out-flow migration result in sexual violence and harassment against women in the transition and destination areas (Dalrymple et al:

2009).

Against this backdrop, the central aim of this paper is to bring together the theoretical aspects of environmental crisis, migration and human security from gender dimension. To look at gender-climate-migration-human security linkages, this paper takes an attempt to address the recent vulnerabilities of women in Khulna, the Southern part of Bangladesh. The rationale of selecting Bangladesh as a case study is due to the fact that the country has ranked one of the most vulnerable to floods, third most to tsunami and sixth most to cyclone. Among the 64 districts of the country, the Southern part is given particular attention as storm surge, cyclone, flood, river erosion and other natural hazards have made women more susceptible than any other locations. From the study area, it is examined how environmental crises persuade migration and how women are facing

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vulnerabilities and insecurities in the changed context. Based on these, the paper sheds light on some policy recommendations taking into account the area’s social and economic dimensions of climate change considering human security and gender issues.

The paper is divided into six Sections. After analysing the Introduction in Section I, Section II tries to develop a conceptual framework of climate change, migration and human security from gender perspective. Subsequently, the paper gives an overview of recurrent natural calamities in Bangladesh in Section III. Section IV makes an attempt to identify some of the climate change induced vulnerabilities of women in Khulna region. Viewing in this light, Section V underlines the existing climate change policies and gaps initiated by the government as well as other affiliated organisations. Finally, in Section VI, some recommendations are outlined in relation to the policy gaps with a view to ensuring security of helpless women in Bangladesh.

II. Climate Change, Migration, Gender and Human Insecurity: A Normative Linkage

The concepts of climate change, migration, gender and human security are distinctive and divers, although there exists a causal relationship among these notions. Generally, climate change refers to the gradual alteration of large scale regional or global climate pattern resulting from various natural and manmade causes that have persistent and burgeoning effects on human being (Simon:2007, cited from Dankelman et al: 2008). From the definition of Simon, it can be inferred that, climate change may be of two forms: one is ‘climate processes’ emanating from sea level rise, salinity as well as water scarcity and another one is ‘climate events’ resulting from flood, droughts, cyclone and so on. Besides, man-made causes such as population growth, government policy and ill acts of communities (e.g. destruction of trees and forest) are exposed to a large scale climate change.

Perhaps, one of the single most crucial effects of climate change is human migration or outbreak of climate refugees. While defining the concept of climate migrants, the International Organization for Migration (IOM: 2008:15) outlines that “Environmental migrants are persons or groups of persons, who, for compelling reasons of sudden or progressive changes in the environment that adversely affect their lives or living

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conditions, are obliged to leave their habitual homes, or chose to do so, either temporarily or permanently, and who move either within their country or abroad”. It is projected that migration would be figuring prominently in the years to come and around 1 billion people would be displaced by 2050 with climate change (Christian Aid: 2007). Before now, the existing climate induced displacement has generated violence and conflicts as it severely affects people’s livelihoods along with food, energy, wealth as well as access to resources. Consequently, the lack of fundamental needs of people leads to overall human insecurity 1 in both disaster and destination areas.

By and large, climate change seems as gender 2 neutral that affects people and their livelihoods regardless of caste, creed and ethnicity. In reality, it has greater impacts on the poor communities mostly women. In this regard, the recent IPCS Report (2007) addresses that women are the most marginalized group due to their helpless position, poor capacities and unequal access to resources to manage and mitigate the disasters (Baten & Khan:2010). More ominous, women in the developing countries are the most susceptible as 70 percent of them live below the poverty line and this poor condition of women has reinforced their climate induced vulnerabilities (Dankelman et al :2008; Brody et al: 2008; Wisner:2007).

Put precisely, in South East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, 90 percent and 80 percent of female are respectively involved in agriculture and forest management (Brody et al:2008). As the natural disasters directly shape women’s resource dependent activities, quite often, they have to lose their livelihoods and sort out alternative ways to feed the extended families. It is crucial to ponder that reducing biodiversity or natural production system not only has an effect on women’s livelihoods but also creates extra pressure to get access to water, sanitation, health and other basic facilities. Moreover, some other

1 As said by Rahman (2009), human security is termed as the lack of basic rights such as food, clean water, health, shelter, land, assets, livelihoods and employment opportunities. In brief, human security encompasses individual security, livelihood security, and other human rights including economic security, food security, health security, environmental security, personal security, community security and political security. For details, see, Dankelman et al: 2008.

  • 2 Gender is a socially and culturally oriented concept that differentiates the roles between men and women based on certain context (such as culture, caste and location) and gender equality denotes the equal rights of men and women in terms of empowerment, decision making process, access to resources in all spheres of life even in case of disaster management. See in details, Dankelman et al: 2008; IOM: 2008; CCC: 2009.

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predicaments like absence of early warning mechanisms, poor technical knowledge, lack of resources to cope with the disasters, inadequate safe places to take shelter and other socially constructed gender related vulnerabilities accentuate women’s less participation in disaster mitigation initiatives.

In this regard, a survey was conducted on 141 countries during 1982-2002 by the London School of Economics, the University of Essex and the Max-Planck Institute of Economics, which found that the magnitude of vulnerabilities and the rate of poor life expectancy of women are much greater than men due to inequality, disparity and inability of the former to cope with the natural disasters (Neumayer and Plümper: 2007; UNDP:

2007; Mitchell et al.: 2007). These disadvantaged power positions of women, however, inflict more mortality and morbidity rates that pose greater insecurities during and aftermath of environmental disasters. For instance, during the Tsunami in North Aceh district of Indonesia, 80 percent of causalities were women (Dankelman et al: 2008).

Thus, it can be inferred that there are linkages among climate change, migration, women and human security depending on the series of causes and outcomes. If human security 3 is considered as security of survival (death and morbidity), security of livelihood (food, energy, environmental, shelter, and economic security), and security of human dignity (fundamental human rights, ability and equal participation) climate change has numerous impacts on these security aspects of women. This is because, climate change instigates migration that degrades fundamental human rights of women (Akter: 2009). Hence, considering all forms of concerns, a stipulation of relationship among climate change, migration, gender and human insecurity can be shown by the following chart:

Climate Change -Climate process (sea level rise) -Climate events(flood) -man made causes (over population)
Climate
Change
-Climate process
(sea level rise)
-Climate
events(flood)
-man made causes
(over population)
predicaments like absence of early warning mechanisms, poor technical knowledge, lack of resources to cope with
Displacemen t/forced migration Crop failure, food insecurity, fuel shortage, job deficiency, resource scarcity, health insecurity Increase
Displacemen
t/forced
migration
Crop failure,
food insecurity,
fuel shortage, job
deficiency,
resource scarcity,
health insecurity
Increase
Vulnerabilities
human
of women
insecurity

3 To perceive the interactions between human security and climate change, Wisner (2007) mentions at least seven ways of linkages such as climate change-food security, climate change-livelihood security, climate change-conflicts etc.

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III. Climate Change Induced Natural Calamities in Bangladesh: An Overview

Bangladesh, a vulnerable country of South Asia, is going through an ongoing process of climate change. Due to flat topography, low areas above sea level, gradual temperature rising after monsoon 4 , regional and global warming, sea level rise, hydrological features, river contamination, land diversifications, glaciers melting in the Himalayas and coastal morphology, the country is facing a host of climate related challenges. Within 144,000 square km of land, more than 144 million people reside and 80 percent of them earn less than US$2 a day (Ansorg & Donnelly: 2008). Of the total population, more than 75 percent depend on agricultural production. Each year, people have to lose their livelihoods and properties because of the sporadic presence of natural disasters such as storm surges, tidal bores, floods, droughts, cyclones, river erosion, arsenic contamination, earthquake, tornadoes and salinity of cultivable lands.

III. Climate Change Induced Natural Calamities in Bangladesh: An Overview Bangladesh, a vulnerable country of South

Figure1. Map of Bangladesh

4 It is projected that average global warming for Bangladesh might go up to 1.5 -1.8°C by 2050. Against this global temperature, sea level might rise by around 30 cm. For more details, see, Ericksen et al: 2003.

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The gradual shift of country’s climate change, on the other hand, leads to massive displacement of people either temporally or permanently. From a research survey, it was found that over the periods, 25 percent, 3 percent and 2 percent of country’s population are displaced by flood, droughts and cyclones respectively. In addition, the number of displaced people is projected to be around 49 million, 63 million and 78 million in 2010, 2015 and 2020 correspondingly. The growth of natural disaster induced displacement is likely to be near around half of the total population in 2020 which is very distressing for the country (Akter: 2009).

Besides, loss of assets coupled with human lives emanating from natural disaters is the real source of threats for the country. According to UNDP Vulnerability Index, from 1970-2005, Bangladesh faced 131 disaster events and the highest disaster induced deaths (516,239 people) in the world. Each year, 0.1 million people are affected by river erosion and 9,000 hectare of arable lands is washed away in rivers owing to rising of tidal waves. Considering merely the scenario of devastating cyclone, it was revealed that over 138,000 lives were lost in 1991 while it was around 3,406 deaths from cyclone Sidr in 2007 (BOG& IDC:2008). Apart from deaths in Sidr, 10 million people were suffered, 650,000 people were displaced and 30 districts were affected. During April-May 2009, two cyclones (Bijli and Aila) attacked the coastal zones that displaced about 200,000 people. Again, in February 2010, the cyclone Lila is the glaring example of persistent natural disaster in Bangladesh.

Periodically, Bangladesh becomes the victim of floods and its extent and frequency are gradually increasing since 1990 due to heavy rainfall, overflow of rivers and melted water from upstream countries. As an outcome, around 39 million people (25 percent of total population) were displaced from 1970 to till date. In 2004, 39 districts were inundated coupled with homelessness of around 36 million people. Apart from Sidr, the country had to face floods for two times in July and August in 2007 that caused the deaths of 3,363 people, sufferings of 10 million people and damage of 13 percent of country’s crops.(Alam et al:2008). From 1960 to 1991, about 31 droughts took place that affected 47 percent of arable lands and 53 percent of people (Akter: 2009). Among all the

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natural disasters, flood is singled out as the main source of threat followed by droughts, cyclone and river erosion.

However, because of the intense manmade and natural induced hazards of 1970, 1985, 1988, 1991, 2007 and 2009, women who are half of the total population (49 percent) became the most vulnerable segment in the country. For instance, in 1991 cyclone, women died five times more than men as the former did not receive the weather information in household environment (Brody et al: 2008). As Satkhira, Khulna and Barisal are surrounded with land fall areas and coastal morphologies, the regions have become highly catastrophic that culminate the vulnerabilities of women. In this regard, the following Section particularly discusses the significant concerns of women in Khulna district during and aftermath of the disaster hits.

IV. Climate Change: Effects on Gender in Khulna Areas

Khulna, the third largest city of Bangladesh, is located at the South-western part of Bangladesh. It is a deltaic region crisscrossed by Rupsha, Gorai, Pusur, Madhumoti and Bhairob rivers and so many tidal marshes. The region is facing adverse hydro- geophysical transformation resulting from poor drainage capacity of small rivers, salinity intrusion, water logging, sea level rise and other human induced activities (Ahmed:

2007). Conceivably, it is the most vulnerable region where women are facing a wide range of instabilities and threats caused by various natural calamities. In this region, gender inequalities regarding human rights, social and economic position, land ownership, education and ill health status make women more susceptible during and after the natural disasters. Some of the related threats and insecurities of women deriving from climate change are described below:

Livelihood Insecurity

Unemployment

In Khulna, women are generally relied on various types of agriculture related activities. When the agricultural lands are inundated and ruined with salinity, a large proportion of women switch their job and involved in shrimp cultivation, snail collection, livestock and salt cultivation for commercial purposes. Predominantly, 85 percent of women in coastal

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areas are engaged in shrimp farming and its associated tasks due to salinity of river water (Chowdhury: 2007). But, regrettably, shrimp cultivation is very less labor intensive than agricultural production. Consequently, women are at risk as many women become unemployed due to lose their traditional job.

Food Insecurity

Climate change has numerous impacts on food availability, food production and food utilization in this region. Shattering of land based productive system is the ultimate cause of food crisis during and aftermath of the disasters. With gradual increase of floods and salinity, farmers cannot use their lands properly and have to refrain from themselves producing crops at least one harvesting season (Ahmed: 2007). Women, in particular, become the most sufferers as many of them are engaged in subsistent agriculture and other food production. This situation, on the one hand, degrades the sources of income of women, while on the other, the price of food goes up in the market. The absence of flow of cash and decrease of purchasing power, nonetheless, proliferate women’s long term hunger, starvation and malnourishment.

Lack of Shelter and Housing

In Khulna, river erosions emanating from unpredictable floods and cyclones destroy houses that result in short-term out-migration especially in Dhaka city. Due to poor housing affordability, a large number of women take shelter in slums termed as baste as temporary settlers. The lives of women in slums are miserable as it is difficult for them to survive in the unhygienic environment and lower standard houses. In slums, women have to face enormous hardship for cooking gas, pure drinking water, food, sanitation and other basic facilities. Meanwhile, trafficking of women during out-migration is a very common feature in southern part of the country (CCC: 2009). In this circumstance, many displaced women want to back their root areas but fail to do so due to lack of proper support and fear of facing vicious cycle of poverty.

Economic Insecurity

Poverty and Inequity

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In coastal areas, about 46 percent of people are below the poverty line which is greater than other areas of the country. Around 70 percent of women in this region are landless and asset poor and natural disaster is one of root causes of their hunger and poverty (BBS: 2007). Apart from damaging crop fields, natural calamities diminish women’s other sources of livelihoods like fishing, livestock (cows, goats, buffaloes) as well as various farm houses. When crops are washed away and livestock die, women live in a state of poverty as it is difficult for them to get access to credit. Destruction and damage of other supportive mechanisms like fishing boats, roads and infrastructure create obstacle to reach the goods (milk, vegetable, shrimp, eggs etc) in market for selling. Besides, after the disaster, women could not spend much time for homestead-based works as they have to pay much attention to food collection, and take care of children and elderly. Thus, the restricted mobility, net loss of income and lack of employment opportunities for women make them more marginalized and underprivileged during and after the natural calamities.

Social Dignity

Violence against Women

One of the negative social consequences of natural disasters in Khulna city is increase the events of physical, sexual and emotional violence against women. During and after the disasters, women have to tolerate abusive languages of husband and extended families when they fail to serve the food on time and manage reliefs properly. It is reported that the women who take shelter in the relief centers are subject to harassment as the places are not gender friendly (Akter:2009;CCC:2009). Therefore, after receiving the warning signal, many women especially the pregnant women refrain from themselves going to centres presuming that they might share the same room with the unfamiliar person and face the incident of abortion in a congested environment. Quite often, women are afraid of sexual abuse and losing social dignity by the male relief seekers and this insecure environment of relief centers make them reluctant to participate in various aid programs in spite of their needs.

Conflicts over Resources

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From the research finding, it was revealed that the migrated people increase greater tension and conflicts in the destination areas (Dalrymple et al: 2009). The competition for government allotted khash land and potable water often leads to crime and violence. Generally, the local musclemen forcefully occupy those lands and demand cash as rent from the displaced communities. Confrontation also takes place in the region in case of right to use of clean water. When droughts occur, salinity of water becomes acute that aggravates various hydrological as well as social quandaries. Under this situation, women are required to involve in collecting drinking and cooking water for their families from 5- 6 km long distant areas. As safe water from deep tube well is scarce, conflicts and competitions arise among different groups of women for potable water in disaster prone, transit and destination areas (Ansorg & Donnelly: 2008).

Lack of Education and Other Social Services

In Khulna region, the low level of literacy rate among the women, nevertheless, reduces their abilities to access to the information about taking shelter in safe places and early warning system. Because of the patriarchal society, many young girls drop out their schools with a view to engaging in house hold activities and collecting potable water with their mothers during and aftermath of the disasters (CCC:2009). Often, sending children in school is costly for parents as they need to hire boat during flood. In most cases, schools are submerged and remained closed because of long-standing water logging. Moreover, lack of access to electricity, telephone, mobile and other sources of information technology exaggerate women’s helpless position as they are less likely to know the information and get prepared in emergency situations.

Environmental Insecurity

Coastal Water Logging

The frequent attacks of natural disasters immensely affect on the different aspects of environmental settings in Khulna areas. In the region, water logging traced from climate changed induced salinity appears as a widespread concern that aggravates displacement of people including women. From a survey of Kushol et al. (2009), it was revealed that when cyclone Aila attacked in 2009, around 106,000 women, men, children and elderly

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migrated in distant safer places within and outside the country like India. Another adverse impact of water logging is the massive ground water contamination when logged water mixes with open sewerage and latrines. Besides, the stagnant flood water generates various types of disease vectors which aggravate diarrhea, malaria, typhoid, dengue and other water borne diseases and women and children become the worst sufferers owing to their less resistant capacities and poor health conditions.

Health Insecurity

Due to severe salinity followed by potable water shortage in Khulna areas, high blood pressure, miscarriage, abortion and the outbreak of water borne diseases have become quite common (Ahmed:2007). It is estimated that 70 percent deviation of cholera outbreak is owing to climate change and women become severely affected as they have less access to medical facilities compare to men (IUCN: 2007). In case of disaster related deaths and injuries, women particularly the pregnant, lactating and disabled, are the worst victims as they cannot swim or climb the tree very quickly during cyclones and floods (Akter:2009). When logged water reduces the opportunity to work in agricultural crop fields, many women survive with catching fishes or collecting water lily from the filthy water. Prolong staying in the polluted water, therefore, causes various diseases in the reproductive organs coupled with skin diseases. Many women especially the unmarried girls have a tendency to hide their gynecological problems due to social dogma and superstition that instigate further health insecurities (Ahmed et al.: 2007).

V. Significant National Measures on Climate Change and Knowledge Between Policies and Implementation

Gaps

In Bangladesh, climate change became the issue of discussion when it was first integrated in the National Environmental Management Action Plan (NEMAP) in 1995 with a view to addressing climate change as a long-term environmental threat for the country. Furthermore, the country ratified a series of Conventions on climate change like the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC, 1994), the Kyoto Protocol (2001), the Coastal Zone Policy (2005) and the establishment of Climate

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Change Cell (CCC) along with other organizations to deal with several climate change aspects in relation to adaptation and mitigation strategies.

In addition, Bangladesh is one of the countries which took the first official initiatives to finalize the National Adaptation Program of Action (NAPA) with a view to addressing a host of adaptation policies such as infrastructure planning, clean water provision for coastal people, sanitation and so on. Though the country has incorporated NAPA in Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper in 2005, but till date, no progress has been achieved in case of implementing its assigned goals and strategies (Alam et al:2008). Moreover, this Action Plan did not include the issues of large scale migration coupled with vulnerabilities of women and their socio-economic concerns (Dalrymple et al.:2009; Ansorg & Donnelly: 2008). In Coastal Zone Policy (2005), it was planned to address the vulnerabilities of coastal people. Unfortunately, absence of any action plan with precise time frame and lack of updated policy measures have made it rather difficult to implement (Akter: 2009).

In line with the above mentioned ventures, Bangladesh government adopted Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan in 2008 to ensure social security of vulnerable groups like children and women thorough community led programs. Although, the strategy was supposed to incorporate the nexus between climate change and women’s vulnerabilities accompanied by human security issues, but surprisingly, till now, no suggestion has been put forwarded to address women’s climate change induced vulnerabilities and conflict oriented aspects (Dalrymple et al: 2009).

These inadequate policy guidelines about huge population displacement followed by the concerns of women are considered as the major drawbacks of national adaptation strategies (IOM:2008). Furthermore, lack of available data on migrated people as well as facts and figures on sedimentation and sea level rise in coastal areas are the prime gaps in knowledge to evaluate the far reaching implications of climate change. Besides, lack of proper endorsement measures especially for women during and after the disasters is another setback of national adaptation policies.

It is significant to contemplate that Bangladesh is a poverty ridden country. In its poor economic condition, the country has to face various forms of natural hazards which down

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size further growth and development. Under this circumstance, it is really difficult for the government to allocate extra budget for recovery strategies like renovation of houses, creation of more employment opportunities, helping affected women, and rehabilitation of the displaced people. Apart from funding constraints, an array of other reasons such as poor institutional mechanisms, lack of coordination among different concerned bodies and improper planning to deal with the international community have reduced the capacity of government to tackle the wide range of impacts of natural calamities.

As already mentioned, women are the most vulnerable segment of population to climate change considering the socio-political context of Bangladesh. Nonetheless, the limited participation of women, lack of consultation in community level decision making, lack of basic facilities (education, income, shelter and sanitation) and limited access to information for disaster preparation further exacerbate their vulnerabilities.

VI. Recommendations and Conclusion

In fact, the mitigation and adaptation measures of climate change are context specific and differ from region to region and community to community. But, it is evident that the scale of climate change will have effects not only on particular nation but also have regional and global ramifications. For instance, during Asian Tsunami in 2004, more than five countries were affected at a time. Thus, climate change is no longer a national issue; rather, it has now become a global concern. Therefore, decisive national, regional as well as international cooperation are the unmet needs to reduce climate induced deaths and destruction as well as the vulnerabilities of people particularly women. Following steps can facilitate the concerned authorities to overcome the existing situations:

Strengthening Institutional Capacity

Indeed, maintaining social, economic and environmental security is vast and it is not possible for the government solely to handle. Therefore, active coordination among government, donors, NGOs as well as international organizations is pertinent to provide available services (housing, food and health) in the disaster prone areas. Besides, other relevant stakeholders like climate scientists, peace builders, gender specialists and meteorologists can jointly work together to generate new knowledge in case of data

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collection of displaced people, potential effects of sea level rise, developing gender sensitive indicators and other methodical analyses of climate change impacts.

Capacity Building of Local Government

As many disaster oriented challenges are local in nature, it is the local government who could gather information in details and identify the gaps of knowledge. Also, they can play a crucial role to address the existing situation of women and their climate induced vulnerabilities. For instance, when there is a conflict or disagreement over limited natural resources like land and water among the parties, local government could resolve the confrontations through dispute settlement mechanisms. Besides, they can work for other social safety nets such as arrangement of alternative livelihoods for women (e.g. recruitment of women in road and anti-flood embankment construction), distinct community latrines for women, floating medical services, as well as drainage and waste management system to avoid long-term water logging.

Incorporating Gender Oriented Concerns in National Strategy

Inclusion of gender related aspects is essential in national disaster action plan like NAPA and Coastal Zone Policy. Programs and fair share of finance are required to ensure women’s economic security through the arrangement of off-farm activities, resource use pattern, equal job opportunities and credit accessibility. As well, more attention should be given on gender oriented disaster reduction strategies like ensuring early warning, adequate cyclone centres with sufficient provisions for women, clean water supply, food, energy and health related services. Overall, a clear gender oriented vulnerability assessment is required for overall wellbeing of vulnerable women.

Capacity Building and Empowerment of Women

Ensuring active participation of disaster affected women and raising their voices in climate change initiatives (e.g. relief management) is important as they are the most vulnerable group by natural disaster. For effective adaptation and mitigation, women

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need to be empowered socially and economically through increasing their capacity and awareness building as well as ensuring their equal rights over resources. To eliminate violence and sexual abuse of women and eradicate ill social practices of men during and after the disasters, significant levels of public awareness and behavioral change programs for men are necessary. In this regard, community based educational programs can be arranged to raise awareness about women’s social and regal rights.

Specific Migration Policy

There should be a comprehensive migration policy against the back drop of multiple environmental, social, political, cultural as well as economic changes emanating from climate change effects. Under this strategy, natural hazard induced displacement and planned migration on short term/long term basis could be included to minimize the vulnerabilities of displaced people and maximize the sustainability of eco-system. Also, successful implementation of the related policies with specific time frame is crucial for effective disaster management. To implement the existing plans in efficient ways, a monitoring cell could be developed in each disaster prone area.

Regional Cooperation

As mentioned earlier, a huge number of vulnerable people migrate to the neighboring countries like India (Dalrymple et al: 2009). Thus, aside from local and national agendas, cross-border programs could be initiated to work mutually about this concern. Besides, further studies could be conducted in relation to the impacts of climate change on regional security, gender, migration and conflicts. Furthermore, a series of bilateral or regional initiatives can be taken about the cross-border migrated people particularly the women. On the whole, a regional climate change policy followed by adaptation and mitigation programs could be introduced to assess the regional impacts of climate change.

Cooperation from International Communities

Essentially, climate change is a global problem as it has no geographical boundary. When a disaster strikes, dislocation and discrepancy of gender take place in the countries

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irrespective of the rich and poor. This is fairly evident during European Heat Waves in France (2003), Asian Tsunami (2004) and Hurricane Katarina in America (2005), (UN Women Watch: 2009). In several research studies, it was revealed that the developed countries are accounted for 55 percent of green house gas emissions (Khor: 2005). Hence, it is the developed countries and international organisations (WEDO,IUCN, ENERGIA, Gender-Disaster Network etc.) which should extend the hands of cooperation to assist the poor countries in case adaptation, mitigation, technology transfer, financing and other humanitarian assistance. To carry out this, a detail analysis of climate change impacts needs to be included at the international levels.

Future Research and Inclusion of Top-down-Bottom-up Approach

Undeniably, climate change is a continuous process. Even if, green house gas emission is halt from today, climate change will incessantly occur as it has already turned into a precarious shape. Therefore, much attention is required about mitigation and adaptation processes alongside with reducing global warming. In this respect, further research is essential on conflict oriented risks, coping mechanisms and gender insecurity related concerns through exchanging of scholars from North to South. Likewise, close coordination is important among various national and international actors like climate scientists, environmentalists, gender specialists, peace builders as well as social scientists for future prediction of climate change impacts. Apart from top down approach, the inclusion of affected local communities in policy making is important to identify the climate induced vulnerabilities and region wise adaptation strategies.

Based on the above discussions, it can be argued that the issues of gender, migration, climate change and human security are closely interlinked. The analysis based on Khulna region demonstrates that natural calamities induce human insecurity of women as it instigate internal displacement, conflicts over resources and other socio-economic challenges. As women represent almost half of country’s population, climate change has adverse impacts on women in case of their livelihood, food, housing, health and a host of others. To address these concerns, Bangladesh government has taken a series of strategies and action plans. Notwithstanding the significant initiatives by the government, there remains a huge gap of knowledge and slow progress in case of adaptation and mitigation

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policies, gendered based initiatives and mechanisms. Hence, it is the right time now to incorporate gender oriented climate change policies and actions to ensure women’s equal human rights and dignity.

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