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Bangladesh: Gender Mainstreaming Processes in Community-based Flood Risk Management, a Case Study from the Gender and IWRM Resource Guide

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S. Fakhruddin
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In 2004 the Centre for Environmental and Geographic Information Services (CEGIS) in Bangladesh designed and implemented a project on flood vulnerability, risk reduction and improved preparedness through community-based information. Household and community responses to events such as floods are an indicator of vulnerability and of people's ability to cope with hazards. Being prepared largely depends on the capacity to relate warning information to poor areas, and to tailor this information to specific contexts. The CEGIS project included analysis of the impacts of gender mainstreaming in the programme in relation to reduced vulnerability and risk. Objectives included identifying best practices in increasing flood preparedness and information dissemination, especially for women at home. A meeting with the Disaster Mitigation Group (DMI) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) identified a need for research on men and women's specific needs; this was followed with household surveys using interviews, questionnaires and focus groups. As a result, flood warnings were prepared in local languages and disseminated using various media - including posters and audio tapes. Though these mechanisms were primarily positive, household and family tasks meant that women received little information in comparison to men due to lesser access to radio and television.

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