How Can Bangladesh Strengthen the Law in the Context of Climate Adaptation and Equity for Women? A Study of the Bangladesh Environment Conservation Act, 1995 and Environment Court Act, 2010
To address the widespread impacts of climate change, nations are developing legal and policy adaptation mechanisms. Climate change impacts women more than men, particularly in developing nations, by exacerbating inequalities through a variety of social, economic, cultural and environmental barriers. Thus, gender-based approaches have been introduced to ensure climate justice for women. The Cancun Agreement, 2010 and the Lima Work Programme, 2014 on Gender stress the importance of the empowerment of women to ensure their meaningful participation in, and contribution to, climate decision-making and actions. In 2019, Bangladesh is the 9th most vulnerable nation in the world, in regard to the impacts of climate change. Women represent half the population of 163 million. The nation has recognized the importance of gender equity as one of its goals for Vision 2021.The Constitution of Bangladesh has safeguarded gender focused environmental rights without discrimination as fundamental rights However, these are rarely enforced and majority of women in Bangladesh do not enjoy equal gender rights. This study will draw upon international environment law to build the case for addressing this inequity. Among the 19 environmental laws, only the Bangladesh Environment Conservation Act, 1995 and the Environment Court Act, 2010, are applied and practiced routinely in the three environment courts, thus they are the legal instruments at the center of this research. However, due to some drawback provisions such as, “national interest” and “good faith”, these laws are not fully enforceable in the courts in the context of gender equity. This study will focus on these two environmental laws in responding to the overarching research question. As part of the investigation, this research will draw upon the legislation and its enforcement in nations such as, Kenya and Bhutan, which are recognized as best practice exemplars in gender equity and climate adaptation.