A virtual discussion on Untold Tales of Women Champions in Climate Change was jointly organized by UN Women and International center for Climate Change and Development, on Saturday (Jan 23) at the Annual Gobeshona Conference 2021.
Speakers said women are disproportionately vulnerable to the effects of climate change that are worsening gender-based disparities. In most cases, women and girls are merely labelled in the passive category, as ‘victims’.They are certainly not depicted and highlighted as active players joining men and others in fighting back negative consequences of climate change, reducing disaster risks, and building community resilience.
Therefore, UN Women aimed to hold dialogues to bring a paradigm shift into the narratives to portray women and marginalized people as mere victims rather to highlight the strength and achievements of women in combating climate change.
The session highlighted to bring together women leaders from rural to urban, local to national, regional, and global level in the fight against climate change crisis, learn their inspirational stories and encourage young women with potential to carry forward the legacy.
During the session six untold stories of grassroot women champions were projected from Satkhira, Khulna and Kurigram reign of Bangladesh. They are playing versatile roles such as- climate protestor, reporter, disaster preparedness leader, women entrepreneur, reformer etc in their locality to fight for women empowerment and confront climate change.
The stories focused on their aspiration, battle, struggle, obstacles, and achievements. It has been heavily pointed out from their words that, we have created discrimination among genders in this society, it was not predetermined, therefore, there should be no injustice in terms of men and women.
In this regard, Masura Parvin, Unit Leader of Cyclone Preparedness ProgramSatkhira said, “I can do the work of 10 men alone, people say I have no fear.During cyclone Bulbul, I was the only woman volunteer who worked outside with all the men in the middle of the disaster and I even carried disabled children on my shoulder and took them to cyclone shelter with me.”Saima Wazed, Founder of Shuchana Foundation and Thematic Ambassador of Climate Vulnerable Forum, chaired the session.
Prof. Saleemul Huq, Director of ICCCAD, Ms. Khushi Kabir, social activist, Dr. Maureen Fordham of UCL, Ms. Ashrafunnahar Misti from Women with disabilities Development foundation, Afroza Begum Alpona, Vice Chairman of Kurigram Sadar, Jannatul Mawa, Executive Director of BINDU Nari Unnayan Shongothon from Satkhira, Masura Parvin, Unit Leader of Cyclone Preparedness Program (CPP) Satkhira, Farida Easmin, Executive Director of Nari Association for Revival and Initiative – NARI of Kurigram, Lipika Rani Boiragi, Executive Director of Association for Social Development & Distressed Welfare, Khulna and Jahida Jahan Mou Reporter of Dokkhiner Moshal, Satkhira spoke as panelists.
Dilruba Haider, Office in charge of UN Women Bangladesh Country Office moderated the session.
The participants and the discussants strongly agreed with the findings from the video series, that woman cannot develop herself despite having a bright future and talent if she does not receive proper support from the society. It requires an enabling environment. Therefore, development of a woman means the development of a family, society, and a country.