Requesting party and partners

Department of Climate and Disaster Management, Jashore University of Science and Technology (JUST) – lead

Department of Gender and Development Studies, Begum Rokeya University, Rangpur (BRUR)

Consortium partners Q-point

Gender2Connect

Red Orange Ltd

The involved institutions

Jashore University of Science and Technology (JUST)

Jashore University of Science and Technology (JUST) is a government-funded university in Bangladesh, established in 2007. JUST’s vision is to promote innovation in science and technology, with a focus on professionalism, technology, and humanism, serving the nation and the world. The university introduced the “Climate and Disaster Management” department in 2019 to create knowledge and skilled personnel for climate and disaster resilience. They aim to incorporate gender, SRHR, and MHM into an independent course, recognizing the overlapping factors affecting people’s experiences with climate change. They stress the importance of gender equality, SRHR, and interdisciplinary approaches in climate and disaster management, emphasizing that true climate justice requires gender equality and SRHR recognition. They plan to research SRHR, vulnerabilities, and climate change to mitigate impacts on vulnerable groups.

Begum Rokeya University Rangpur (BRUR)

Begum Rokeya University is a public state university in Bangladesh, named after the feminist writer Begum Rokeya. Established in 2008, it’s the 30th public university in the country. The Department of Gender and Development Studies, founded in 2011, focuses on social norms and power structures impacting men and women, promoting gender equity in sustainable development. Located in a region prone to climate-induced hazards, the department is working to integrate environment, climate change, and natural disaster issues with a gender and development perspective. SRHR is currently part of a course but will soon be a standalone course, aligning with an intersectional approach to SRHR and climate change.

Context

The challenge climate change poses to access to SRH services is felt most keenly by those who already face discrimination and marginalization (e.g. , internal displaced people, people with disabilities, ethnic minority groups, LGBTQIA + people) and in areas where access to services already is limited (e.g. embankments (“badh”) or resettlement areas).

The impact of climate change on SRHR In Bangladesh is significant. Climate-related natural disasters, such as floods and cyclones, have disrupted access to healthcare services and family planning, leading to increased rates of unintended pregnancy and maternal mortality. Also, GBV and child marriages increase following disasters and extreme weather events.   In a society like Bangladesh, women are more susceptible among the vulnerable groups due to gender inequality. In flood-prone and disaster-prone areas, during natural hazards and other disasters, critical family planning services are not available for women in need and pregnant women are at risk of death and injury. Due to socio-cultural norms, women are also not taught how to swim which reduces their chance of survival in disasters such as flood. Other considerations concern relief efforts that do not properly take into consideration health needs of women. Contraception options as well as other health and hygiene products including sanitary pads are often missing from the disaster relief packages. Miscarriage increases in crowded shelter houses. Also prolonged exposure to filthy water during post disaster period causes severe skin diseases and gynecological problems to women. These are just some examples of the adverse impacts of climate change on specifically women’s health. The issue of impact of climate change on health, specifically women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) is being neglected in the national policy of Bangladesh.

Projectdoel en outputs

This project links directly to SRHR. More specifically it focuses on Sexual and reproductive health and rights with a focus on the Leave No One Behind principle in relation to climate change events and crises situations. It will address the link between climate change resilience and SRHR through a intersectional lens which is considered crucial in the context of Bangladesh.

 

  • The TMT training program enhances the capacity of JUST and BRUR to drive change in SRH rights and gender equality. Both universities offer education and research in gender equality, with plans to expand into SRHR.
  • The training emphasizes interdisciplinary research for complex issues like human rights, gender, health, and climate change. JUST and BRUR receive interdisciplinary training for gender-sensitive approaches to climate resilience.
  • Additionally, the training fosters collaboration among decision-makers, practitioners, educators, and researchers in the realms of SRHR, marginalization, and climate resilience, in partnership with the Red Orange/Share-net network in Bangladesh.

It translated into three training packages:

  1. Introduction to gender, marginalization and SRHR within the context of climate change;
  • Introduction to SRHR, the impact of climate change on SRHR and gender-responsive climate action. The latter will be used as the starting point for addressing SRHR, and initiating participatory processes that include CSOs and people in all their diversity, fundamental in ensuring that all needs are recognized and addressed.
  • Introduction to SRHR in disaster risk management (DRM) processes. This includes addressing both the process of DRM planning and the practicalities of preparing for, responding to, and recovering from disasters.
  • Identifying opportunities and obstacles in accessing SRHR information and services in relation to climate affected communities. A communication strategy will be formulated to determine the tools and methods for assessment and response, considering the intersecting drivers of marginalisation and inequalities.
  1. Contextual, and intersectional perspective (Including a field trip).
  • Introduction to intersectionality and the system approach; introducing research, with an intersectional lens, on the social and gender dimensions of climate change and action. An intersectional analysis of climate change illuminates how different individuals and groups relate differently to climate change, due to their situatedness in power structures based on context-specific and dynamic social categorisations. We will engage with intersectionality as a tool for critical thinking and to investigate (power points/leverage points) where power structures are reinforced, but also challenged and renegotiated in realities of climate change.
  • Participatory research about the behaviors and processes that influence the sexual reproductive health of marginalised groups or individuals in relation to climate change events.
  • A field trip to a coastal area of Bangladesh.
  1. Strengthening curricula and research efforts on gender and SRHR within the context of climate change
  • Collaborative work on how to integrate lessons learned into teaching and research work within both Institutions. Also we will look at the establishment of a dedicated network of actors focusing on SRHR and climate change to improve dialogue, collaboration, approaches, and processes among diverse stakeholders and Universities.

Relevante Sustainable Developement Goals (SDGs)

3. Good Health and Well-being: Sexual and reproductive health and rights

4. Quality Education: capacity building of the institutions using the Training of Trainers approach.

10. Reduced Inequality

13. Climate action: intersectional lens which is considered crucial in the context of Bangladesh.

Opdrachtgever

Funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and managed by Nuffic, as part of the Orange Knowledge Programme, project number OKP–TMT 23-00100.

Looptijd

Juli 2023 – juni 2024

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