bangladesh oct 10 2012Rights and development activists on Tuesday demanded women's participation in climate change adaptation and mitigation programmes.

They made the demand at a press conference organized by the National Committee on Observation of the International Rural Women Day at the National Press Club in the city on the occasion of the International Rural Women Day.

The International Rural Women Day will be observed in 58 districts this year. The theme of the day is 'Claim the rights of women's participation in climate Adaptation and Mitigation.

Coordinator of the national committee Mustafa Kamal Akanda, chairman Swapan Guho, vice-chairman Shamima Akhter and committee members Firoza Begum, Asif Iqbal and Nahida Sultana, among others spoke at the press conference.

Swapan Guho said the negative impact of climate change in Bangladesh is now clear and recognised. It is also recognised that the rural women are the most vulnerable to the climate change impact.

He said unfortunately women's participation in the plan and implementation level of climate adaptation and mitigation is poor. "That is why we are demanding that women's participation is a must. We also demand that the vulnerability of women should be recognised in other women rights or human rights documents."

Swapan said there should be special quota for the women with regard to fund distribution for the climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Mustafa Kamal Akanda said Bangladeshi NGOs have been observing this day since 2000 with their own funds.

"Under the National Committee there are district committees who are implementing the district level activities. In 2011, the day was observed in 56 districts. Rally, discussion along with special recognition for the contribution in upholding women's rights were in the list of activities," he said.

Shamima Akhter said the problems of climate change in Bangladesh are visible now. Women are the most vulnerable to all sorts of disaster. During any disaster, women think of their children first and then there are responsibilities of the family elders. She said, "Women cannot think of their safety first. Thus women, especially the rural women become most vulnerable to all sorts of disaster."

Published in The New Nation.