Study on roles and challenges on women members of disaster management committees in response to COVID-19 and the recent disasters
Cyclone Amphan hit the south-western coastal areas of Bangladesh on 20 May 2020, causing severe destruction in Satkhira and Khulna. It was soon followed by monsoon floods, marooning over half a million people in the low-lying areas of Gaibandha, Lalmonirhat and Kurigram. Although Bangladesh is used to natural disasters, 2020 was unique since they coincided with an ongoing coronavirus pandemic that had triggered a countrywide lockdown. It was an unprecedented challenge for the disaster management committees (DMCs) to ensure effective disaster preparedness, response and recovery adhering to Covid protection measures. This is a brief study to understand the experiences of women DMC members in this unique situation. The study was conducted in the cyclone-prone districts of Satkhira, Khulna and Cox’s Bazar and the flood-prone district of Kurigram. The methodology included interviews with stakeholders, focus group discussions (FGD) with communities, literature review and a validation workshop of the findings and recommendations.