Bangladesh will face more frequent and severe flooding due to climate change. Consequently, in the southwest of the country CARE has worked closely with local organisations to help communities – and especially women within them – to decide how best to adapt. The project focused on ensuring women could and would participate, by recruiting female staff, giving gender training to all staff members, prioritising female-headed households in the project, and organising community meetings at times that fitted with women’s daily workloads.The women were offered a range of options for diversifying their incomes. Many chose to rear ducks because of the low start-up costs, low risks and the fact that it does not create a heavy workload in terms of time or labour; ducks produce eggs and meat for food or cash; and – unlike chickens – they can swim, so survive floods. As a result of the project, the women involved were no longer skipping meals during lean seasons, and most felt empowered by bringing cash into the home, finding this contributed to their increased contribution to household decisions. Rearing ducks has helped both to tackle gender inequalities and to build the community’s resilience to flooding.
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