Spotlight: Women leading discussions on climate induced migration

Zakia Naznin heading to COP20, Lima


UN Women is proud to be supporting Ms Zakia Naznin to travel to Lima, Peru next month to participant in the UNFCCC discussions and be a panelist at a UN Women co-hosted event on Climate Change Adaptation, Resilience and Human Mobility: Voices from the Frontline.

Ms Zakia Naznin to participant in the UNFCCC discussions in Lima. Photo: UN Women/Amy Reggers

UN Women is co-organizing this side event on Thursday 11 December 2014 at 13:15-14:45 in partnership with UNHCR, UNUEHS and IOM. This side event will put a human face to climate change impacts by giving the spotlight to the voices from the frontlines of climate change to testify on the impacts of a changing climate including displacement and its gender dimensions. Chaired by Mary Robinson, President of Mary Robinson Foundation Climate Justice, this event will provide an international platform for sharing experiences and new knowledge direct from the field.

Zakia Naznin is the Gender Specialist at the Bangladesh Center for Advanced Studies (BCAS). She and the team of researchers at BCAS have been working with UN Women on a gender and climate change project, title ‘Reducing the vulnerability of women affected by climate change through alternative livelihood options’ kindly supported by the Norweigan Embassy. BCAS, as a leading research organisation in Bangladesh, has been conducting research to better understand the gender dimensions of climate change here in Bangladesh. Their research reports include baseline studies, needs assessments and most recently, a study exploring the impacts of climate induced migration on women and men. It is the preliminary findings from this study, supported with a short documentary and policy briefs that will be the basis for her panel discussion on December 11.

Naznin, as she is known to us here at UN Women Bangladesh has been working on and off for BCAS for 5 years and working on this current project with UN Women since early 2014. She has a Masters in Anthropology and a passion for gender equality. “I believe that women can make changes in their own lives through realizing their rights, and ensuring control over social, economical, political and cultural resources”. Naznin recognises that women in Bangladesh live in a highly patriarchal society, where exisiting social norms, beliefs and insititutions constrain them. Yet, she has a ‘personal and professional commitment to faciliate them (women) in realization and achievement of their rights’.Naznin is pleased to be heading to Peru to discuss issues of climate induced migration, and the impact it has on women.

When we talk about the migration, we talk about the people who migrate. From a study ‘Climate Change and Migration: gender perspectives’, we learned that it is not only about the men who migrate, but it is about the women who stay behind. Migration has huge impacts on women and children’s lives, on their work, mobility, and internal relations. I hope this event will start a discussion about all the direct and indirect impacts of the migration on women.

Naznin has been an active participant in UN Women’s events, such as the 5 Day- Masterclass, A rights based approach to Gender Equality in Climate Change, and the recent national workshop, Livelihoods: a tool for building reslience and empowering women?, and UN Women Bangladesh and UN Women Headquarters are very proud to be supporting Naznin to travel and participate at this important event. We wish her safe travels and all the best for her panel presentation!