Involvement of Rural Women in Managing their Natural Resources and Environmental Decision Making: A Study of Coastal Villages in Bangladesh

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About 80% people of Bangladesh live in rural areas and among these people, 49% are women. Eighty six percent of the total population of women live in rural areas. Each and everyday they encounter different types of social, cultural and economic exploitation and are deprived of education, health and optimum nutrition. In rural Bangladesh, the dimensions of development encompasses poverty alleviation, reduction in inequality, access to social services (education, training, health) and improved human capability, freedom of participation (enlarged choice) in social, political, economic and cultural pursuits, i.e., establishment of environmental sustainability. To ensure the sustainable development, both male and female participation in development activities is essential. In this regard, increasing women’s participation in natural resource management from the grass root level is crucial to enhance the rural development. In recent years, the natural resources base in coastal areas has been greatly depleted due to mainly climatic and anthropogenic factors. With this minimum and degrading level of natural resources, rural women are managing their daily activities adapting with the changing environment. They do not restrict their activities only into the household works and spread their field of work from cooking to income generating activities utilizing the natural resources available in their locality e.g., court yard gardening, water body management, fuel collection, plantation, and sanitation. The study explores how rural women of coastal villages in Bangladesh participate in managing their natural resources in daily life and in taking decisions of environmental related issues.


Keywords: Rural Women, Natural Resources, Environmental Decision, Bangladesh
Stream: Social Sustainability
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Mohammad Shahidul Hasan Swapan

Lecturer, Urban and Rural Planning Discipline, Khulna University
Khulna, Bangladesh

I am an urban environmental planner in Bangladesh. I completed my Bachelor degree in Urban and Rural Planning from Khulna University in 2001. I have just completed my Master degree on Environmental Studies from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. My research interests: environmental management and planning; participatory research and application of GIS and remote sensing in planning. I have been teaching in Khulna University (Bangladesh) since 2004 and conducting three courses: Environmental Management, Research Methods and GIS for Planners. I am/was involved in different research projects: Comprehensive Disaster Management project (UNDP - ongoing); Urban-GIS project (New Zealand, 2006); Sundarbans Bio-diversity Conservation project (ADB, 2003); Automation of urban water supply systems (Khulna University, 2002)

Sabrina Ahmed

Undergraduate Student, Urban and Rural Planning Discipline, Khulna University
Khulna, Bangladesh

Studying in Urban and Rural Planning Discipline, Khulna University. Expected date of completion in January, 2008

Ref: S08P0166