Accepted paper:

Gender equalities in the post-cyclone (Aila) livelihoods of the Munda Adivasi Community: The Bangladesh Sundarbans forest Context

Author:

Sajal Roy (Begum Rokeya University, Rangpur (BRUR), Bangladesh)

Paper short abstract:

The Munda indigenous community has been dwelling in the village of Kalinchi at the coastal district of Satkhira since 250 years ago. The cyclone Aila (2009) severely affected the Munda community's gendered livelihood and traditional ecological bonding with the forest and Kalinchi itself. Utilising an auto-ethnography, this paper primarily examines cyclone Aila's long-term effects on the gendered livelihood activities in the Sundarbans forest.

Paper long abstract:

The Munda indigenous community (Adivasi) has been dwelling in the village of Kalinchi at the coastal district of Satkhira since 250 years ago. This untouchable adivasi community has undergone severe threats of climatic disasters (such as, tropical cyclones, flooding, salinity intrusion and river erosion) for a significant period of time since 1980. Research studies (Dey 2013, Mallick 2017, Perucca 2013, Nasreen 2011) clearly indicate that socio-ecological consequences of climatic disasters have been impacting upon the livelihoods (harvesting honey, cutting woods, gathering juvenile crabs, and fishing in the forest-adjacent rivers and channels) of the Munda community in the Sundarbans forest (the largest mangrove forest in the world) for the recent past. Particularly, the cyclone Aila (2009) severely affected the Munda community's gendered livelihood in the Sundarbans forest and traditional ecological bonding with the forest and Kalinchi itself. In addition, the immediate consequences of Aila and associated flood damaged the local infrastructures (such as, roadway, mud-built houses) of Kalinchi hindering livelihood opportunities (working for agriculture) of the Munda people in Kalinchi. Utilising an auto-ethnography, this paper primarily examines cyclone Aila's long-term (since 2009 to date) effects on the gendered livelihood activities in the Sundarbans forest. In doing so, the present study documents the existing critiques (e.g., Chant 2008, Guhathakurta and Banu 2017) of gender and development studies, and thereafter shows how gender equality in terms of accessing livelihoods in the Sundarbans and allocating of cash income (gained from the gathered forest resources) is conceptualised among males and females of the Munda community in the post-Aila Sundarbans context.

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