When people think about the impact of climate change, many consider the physical damage: homes destroyed, communities forced to start over, maybe even a number of bodies discovered after an intense weather event. But sometimes forgotten are the social consequences the physical destruction leaves in its wake.
In Bangladesh, one of the main social challenges presented by climate change is the furthered entrenchment of preexisting systemic gender inequality. As climate change negatively impacts vital local industries such as rice farming and fishing, women and girls experience a compound set of issues.
Flooding, a result of higher aerial moisture levels combined with increased runoff from the Himalayas, can lead to disaster — especially in a country like Bangladesh, where nearly half the population lives, on average, just 10 meters above sea level. In June, five Bangladeshis were killed by massive flooding and more than 50,000 Bangladeshis have been affected. Flooding, often a product of climate change, can deepen gendered social problems, too.