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Disaster and gendered impact in a changing climate towards girl's education - For Plan International Asia-Pacific Regional Hub (May 2021)

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Disaster and Gendered Impact in a Changing Climate towards Girl's Education in Nepal and Bangladesh

Plan International Asia regional project Strengthening Community Resilience through Safe Schools Initiative (SCRSSI) targeting Nepal and Bangladesh funded by Plan International Japan conducted the research: “Disaster and Gendered Impact in a Changing Climate toward Girl’s Education” to understand the broader social and historical contexts in Sunsari district of Nepal and Kurigram district of Bangladesh where Plan International Asia-Pacific Regional Hub and the Plan country offices have been supporting school based Disaster Risk Management initiatives.
The research study mapped out existing factors that compound and exacerbate natural hazard risks of marginalized children, especially girls, with particular attention to harmful gender norms and stereotypes. It captured the actual and gendered impacts of disasters and climate crisis on girls and boys, with attention to educational continuity and attainment.

The research also explored international, national and local regulatory frameworks on gender sensitive disaster risk management, climate resilience, and school-centered disaster risk management.

Lastly, the report offers specific recommendations to address gender norms and stereotypes that exacerbated the impacts of disaster and climate risks on girls and boys, their educational continuity.

Key findings include:

  • Gender has been mainstreamed in both global and national regulatory/policies/frameworks/guidelines.

  • National school-based disaster management frameworks/guidelines needs improving to be more gender transformative.

  • The concepts of "patriarchal ", “patrilineal”, and “patrilocal” male-domination shape the perceptions and practices of Bangladeshi and Nepalese society in general. The scale and magnitude of gender stereotypes and discrimination is even more in the two research locations in both countries as compared to the national context.

  • Gender norms and stereotypes in the Bangladeshi and Nepalese society have directly impacted on educational continuity and attainment of children, especially girls in the research locations. In both countries, a girl’s education is disrupted when families face financial crisis, climate and disaster risks, or shocks which increases difficulties for girls to access education.

  • Disaster and climate risks combine with gender norms and stereotypes pose more compounded challenges to girls.

  • Gendered barriers prevent participation in school-based disaster risk management

  • Various societal factors shape gender barriers and actors including boys and girls themselves, parents, family members, neighbours, religious leaders, people of the community and local authorities can play important roles in reducing and even removing these gender barriers.

  • Girls and boys from marginalised backgrounds, including those with disability and LGBTQ+, face specific hindrances.

Key recommendations include those for Plan International to strengthen the organization’s niche area of gender transformative DRM, CCA and CSS at the country level; National governments of Bangladesh and Nepal to address disaster and gendered impacts in a changing climate by integrating a gender transformative approach into existing CSS national policies and frameworks; and the Development partners (Bilateral, humanitarian agencies and civil societies) to advocate for DRM, CCA, and CSS policy improvement and implementation jointly by addressing contemporary issues in policies and engaging in regular advocacy for synergy.

To know more about the research findings and recommendations, please read the full report.