Female contribution to grassroots innovation for climate change adaptation in Bangladesh

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Climate and Development, 2019
Issue Date:
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© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This paper reports a mixed-method study from 2016 in Gabura, Bangladesh examining female contribution to climate change adaptation in the period post-cyclone Aila in 2009. Out of 110 households studied, male household members were absent in 66 cases because they had migrated to nearby towns and regional centres for alternative livelihood options. Male members’ absence created opportunities for Gabura women to develop a range of novel adaptation strategies through engagement with aid agencies, changed gender roles, leveraging social capital and utilizing local knowledge. For example, women are increasingly contributing to income through works within and outside of the house in agricultural innovations and handmade productions. These adaptations are built on social capital and trust between community women and the NGOs through mobilization and sharing of local knowledge. Based on the findings, a framework for informed autonomous adaptation is proposed. The generalization of coastal women in developing contexts as passive victims of climate change due to social norms and instead highlights women’s active agencies in adaptation is challenged. There is a need for a critical understanding of gender-specific dynamics in post-cyclone aid interventions towards in-situ climate change adaptation.
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