Climate change amplifies social, political, and economic pressures in vulnerable and conflict-affected areas and women are the most affected by this physically, mentally, and economically. We believe, women from vulnerable areas should be empowered to make that community climate resilient. In that way, women can make themselves an asset rather than a liability and to highlight this fact, Amal Foundation organized a roundtable meeting on 20th December 2022 at The Daily Star head office.
The key objective of the discussion was to emphasize how women are being affected by climate impact socially and economically and how women’s vulnerability can be converted to her strength through empowerment. Representatives from Government, national and international organizations, private and development sectors, and media houses were present at the event alongside Amal team members.
Climate change is not a gender-neutral issue. It has the biggest impact on women and girls, amplifying existing gender inequities and posing special challenges to their livelihoods, health, and safety, including child marriage, domestic violence, gender discrimination, and other forms of abuse.
Amal Foundation trains women in entrepreneurship, leadership, communication, climate change adaptation, and mitigation through skill development training on sewing/stitching, climate-smart agriculture/animal husbandry, and financial literacy. It helps them to manage their businesses or income-generating activities in a sustainable manner. In a few cases, these beneficiaries get the support of resources through which they can be independent and can earn their own income to support their families.
Esrat Karim, Director of the Amal Foundation presented a thematic presentation regarding the issue. She said, “The organizations of Bangladesh must put more emphasis on supporting women’s engagement and leadership in resilience programs, strengthening the capacity of the health sector to prepare for and effectively manage climate-induced health risks, fulfilling the sexual and reproductive health care needs of women, and investing in women’s education and skill development”.
According to Mr. James Gardiner, Economic Officer of the US Embassy, “Women and Climate Change is a very important topic in recent times for which global communities are coming together to work”. “We are seriously working on this topic through our ongoing programs on climate change which has been categorized and there are many programs on this issue. We believe we need to do more outreach and for that, we are open for partnership as if we want to find a solution, we have to work together”, he added.
Ms. Parveen Huda, an independent consultant of Amal Foundation stated that in order to make women empowered, they need to have economic stability and to do so private organizations’ collaborations are much needed.