Study on Women and Girls’ Participation in Community Disaster Risk Management in Bangladesh

Authored by: Plan International

Categories: Global Public Health, Human Rights, Humanitarian Emergencies
Sub-Categories: Climate and Environment, Economic Participation, Human Development, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), Sexual and Reproductive Health
Country: Bangladesh
Region: South and Central Asia
Year: 2021
Citation: "Study on Women and Girls’ Participation in Community Disaster Risk Management in Bangladesh." Plan International. September 2021.

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Executive Summary

This study on women and girls’ participation in community-based disaster risk management in Bangladesh is part of Plan International’s Inclusive Community Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (ICDRM) project. The project, funded by Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, aims to increase the level of inclusion and participation of women, girls and marginalized groups in DRM. In cooperation with local NGO Jago Nari, the project has successfully set up community-based organizations (CBOs) in Bhola, a rural region in southern Bangladesh that is particularly prone to flooding and cyclones. These CBOs are mandated to have gender parity as a first step to including women and girls in decision-making and planning for disaster risk reduction (DRR) at the community level. The CBOs also provide training on gender equality, women’s and girls’ rights and inclusiveness of marginalized groups in disaster planning and response.

The study objective is to understand how successful CBOs are in addressing the gender inequalities which result in women and girls suffering more than men and boys during disasters, the extent to which social norms and gender barriers persist within DRM once women are included in CBOs and the extent to which this inclusion has a positive effect on women and girls’ capacity to mitigate and survive disasters. Extensive qualitative data was collected to understand the root causes and marginalization of women in both society and during disasters, the specific barriers that prevent their inclusion in DRM and the extent and nature of their participation in DRM committees. The study also assessed several Bhola communities’ perceptions of the CBO’s setup by Jago Nari and Plan International, in terms of their contributions to providing a safe and inclusive space for women and their contributions to improving their communities’ resilience and adaptation to disasters for all people, including the most marginalized.