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Centre for Peace and Justice, BRAC University, Green Delta Aims Tower (13th floor) 51-52 Mohakhali C/A Dhaka 1212, Bangladesh

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March 9, 2024 Centre for Peace and Justice

A panel discussion titled ‘Women at the Forefront: Building Climate Resilience for an Equitable Society’ was held at the EMK Centre, recently, for the members of Peace Cafés, a student-led coalition established by Centre for Peace and Justice (CPJ), BRAC University.

The discussion was organized to mark the occasion of International Women’s Day.

It aimed to foster a deeper understanding of the gendered impact of climate change among Peace Cafe members The discussion was a part of a photo-ethnography study led by Tasnia Khandaker Prova, Research Associate at Centre for Peace and Justice, BRACU. Tasnia was one of the awardees of the Climate Action Champions Network (CACN) program, a US-state Department-funded alliance of South Asian activists and practitioners advancing climate action in the region.

Panel members included Tasnia Khandaker Prova, Research Associate, CPJ BRACU and CACN cohort member, Tahura Farbin, Faculty and Researcher, Centre for Sustainable Development, CSD, ULAB, Eity Akter, second generation climate migrant and teacher at a Korail School run by BRAC and Haowa Khanom, climate migrant and Socio-Economic and Nutrition Facilitator at UNDP. The panel discussion was moderated by Ishrat Jahan, Communications and Partnership Lead at CPJ.

During the discussion, both researchers shared their first-hand observations of the harm-chain mechanism that affects women from climate-vulnerable areas who migrate to informal settlements in urban spaces and continue to face new risks, hazards, and vulnerabilities. Tahura highlighted the need for comprehensive data from authentic sources to access funding and effectively implement relevant policies. Tasnia urged local stakeholders including student-led initiatives to keep the community at the center of all climate action and collectively work towards sustainable solutions without relying too much on the depleting foreign aid.

Narrating the harsh realities of their lives, Hawa Khanom mentioned ”How can we think about education, nutrition or health care for women when we don’t even know if we can survive the next fire incident.” As a teacher for dropout students of Korail slum area, Eity underscored the need for making quality education accessible to all.

The panel discussion also featured an interactive session with the audience. Shahariar Sadat, Director (Academic and Legal Empowerment) at CPJ shared that as an academic institute, CPJ is keen to contribute towards higher education for the children living in informal settlements.

The event was organized by The US State Department and GenLab. It was attended by peace café members of BRAC University, University of Dhaka and representatives of CPJ, BYLC, UN Women and SOLshare.