The 15-year SDG plan of the United Nations talks of ensuring peace and prosperity in the world by 2030. These goals include, among others, ensuring poverty alleviation, food security, healthcare and quality education as well as gender equality. Abut according to several studies and media reports. The country’s agriculture and production is being directly hampered by the direct impact of climate change. The people of these areas are losing their agricultural produce, their homes and homesteads. Their children are dropping out of school. They are facing all sorts of diseases and malnutrition due to one calamity after the other, increased salinity and lack of drinking water.
Cyclones and tidal surges have increased in the coastal regions. Repeated calamities are wiping out the croplands, fisheries and other resources of these areas. The lives of the coastal people have become uncertain. Poverty is on the rise. Healthcare for women and girls is threatened. Maternal mortality is on a rise.
Director and professor of Dhaka University’s Institute of Disaster Management and Vulnerability, Mahbuba Nasrin, said, “About what is to be done for coastal women during calamities, I would say that the shelters must be made women-friendly. Things were really bad before. In recent years there has been significant improvement. In the shelters, it is extremely essential for there to be separate areas for women to breastfeed their infants. There also needs to be separate toilets for women.”
There is need to take up inclusive planning and implementation, with the coastal regions in mind. Additional care is required for the safety of women and girls. And in the preparation and implementation of any plans, it must be made sure that these are women friendly. If not, basic issues like life safety and women’s health protection will simply remain uncertain.