Participatory Development Action Program (PDAP), a group inDhaka, Bangladesh, have been working to build resilience in their community. Their biggest challenge is that many rural women lack job opportunities. Specifically, during the rainy season or when floods happen, women are left to deal with many problems, such as toilet and drinking water issues, the inability to go outdoors, food crises, and the fact that their children cannot go to school. Young and adolescent girls face similar challenges, as well.
According to Quazi Baby of PDAP, grassroots women are able to tackle these types of situations through organizing and training. Women leaders can help children and elders in the community to move to a safe place, and are able to speak with local officials.
After Cyclone Ayla for instance, many grassroots women in Koira Upazila in the Khulna district lost their homes as well as access to water, food and shelter. PDAP was able to organize and respond, by training women in community resilience work and arranging Local-to-Local Dialogues with local chairmen and stakeholders about their survival and job opportunities.
PDAP is especially proud of one village in particular, Naopara, where women are capable enough now to protect themselves during disasters and have been able to influence the local chairmen and government members. For many rural women, lack of job opportunities is the biggest challenge. Quazi Baby says that PDAP’s biggest hope is “that grassroots women, as well as the poor people in the community, will achieve their rights and be able to protect the community from all kinds of disasters, as well as earn better money for their livelihoods.”
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