1st Edition

Climate Change and Gendered Livelihoods in Bangladesh

By Sajal Roy Copyright 2021
    272 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    272 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Globally climate-induced disasters have been impacting marginalised communities’ lives, livelihood and gendered relations. This book explores the effects of Cyclone Aila (as a result of climate change) in 2009 on the rural livelihoods and gendered relations of two ethnically distinct forest communities – Munda, an indigenous group, and Shora, a Muslim group – dwelling near the Sundarbans Forest in Bangladesh.

    Examining the cyclone’s medium- to long-term impacts on livelihoods and comparative aspects of gendered relations between these two contrasting communities, this book addresses a gap in current critical development studies. It adopts an ethnographic research design and analyses the alterations to livelihood activities and reconfiguration of gender relations within the Munda and Shora communities since 2009. The study primarily contends that post-Aila, livelihoods and gendered relations have been substantially transformed in both communities, making the case that the improvement of local infrastructure, as an important part of the geographical location, has noticeably progressed the living conditions and livelihoods of some members of the Munda and Shora communities.

    Connecting climate-induced changes with the construction and alteration of gendered livelihood patterns, the book will be of interest to a wide range of academics in the fields of Asian Studies, Sociology of Environment, Social Anthropology, Human Geography, Gender and Cultural Studies, Human Geography, Disaster Management and Forestry and Environmental Science.

    Chapter 1 – Livelihood context of the Sundarbans Forest, Gender and Cyclone Aila

    Chapter 2 – Framing post-disaster lives, livelihoods and gendered relations in Bangladesh 26

    Chapter 3 – Mapping the transformation of gendered lives, livelihoods and gendered Relations before and after Cyclone Aila: a summary of methods and methodology

    Chapter 4 – Gendered lives and livelihood histories of the Munda indigenous community in the Sundarbans Forest

    Chapter 5 – Gendered lives and livelihood histories in Shora near the Sundarbans Forest

    Chapter 6 – Post-Aila gendered lives and livelihoods: evidence from the Shora and Munda forest communities of the Bangladesh Sundarbans Forest

    Chapter 7 – Implications of research into livelihoods and gendered relations before and after cyclone disaster in the Sundarbans Forest, Bangladesh


    Sajal Roy is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Livelihoods and Wellbeing, University of Technology Sydney, Australia. He is a scholar in critical development studies and human geography specialising in climate change social sciences, sustainable livelihoods and development, gendered relations, refugee crisis management and climate justice.

    This is an excellent book providing a much-needed scholarly contribution to the debate over indigenous communities and climate induced disasters. The book presents a rich empirical evidence on Munda and Shora indigenous communities from Bangladesh to demonstrate how and why the livelihoods of these rural communities are changing in the face of disasters, how disaster impacts are gendered, especially in the context of indigenous communities, and why it matters to recognise the persistence and change in the views of indigenous women affected by and responding to disasters. The author has done an excellent job to bring out the ethnographic details to explain the construction and alternation of gendered livelihood patterns in disaster affected communities. This is a fresh and important addition to the scholarship of disaster and development studies. - Krishna K. Shrestha, UNSW Sydney, Australia 

    Biophysical hazards always demand a response, be it through disaster-prevention planning or post-hazard recovery measures. Gender roles and relations matter enormously to how just and effective the responses are. In this fine comparative study, Sajal Roy shows why gender-sensitive policy is an essential  - never optional - part of disaster mitigation and post-disaster rebuilding. - Noel Castree, UTS, Australia, and University of Manchester, UK

    This finely textured book is unusual and timely. It not only provides nuanced insights on the gendered impact of a major cyclone on poor indigenous communities in Bangladesh, but it also demonstrates how a recovery effort, facilitated by progressive NGOs, can help "build back better" by enhancing women’s livelihoods, mobility, and autonomy. It thus holds lessons beyond its context, as we seek pathways to post-COVID recovery. - Bina Agarwal, Global Development Institute, The University of Manchester, UK

    This is an important book that offers a fresh insight into intersectionality and how it can help explain how social dimensions affect practical situations poor women for women in marginal communities. It uses the case study of  cyclone Aila and the Sundabarns in coastal Bangladesh. This is an important book for scholars and practitioners in natural disaster relief and rehabilitation - Patrick Kilby Australian National University, and Editor in Chief of ‘Development in Practice’.