Gendered vulnerabilities in Diaras: Struggles with floods in the Gandak river basin in Bihar, India

Udas, P B and Prakash, A and Goodrich, C G (2021) Gendered vulnerabilities in Diaras: Struggles with floods in the Gandak river basin in Bihar, India. In: Engendering Climate Change. 1st ed. Routledge, New Delhi, India, pp. 38-57. ISBN 9781003142409

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Diaras refer to a land where a diya, an earthen oil lamp, is never lit. Here it symbolizes villages located in the flood plains of the Gandak river in Bihar state in eastern India, mostly inside embankments. It also denotes high levels of poverty, drudgery and vulnerability due to frequent floods. People are challenged by either too much or too little water in a changing climatic context. Millions of them live in this area, not by choice, but by compulsion. Understanding their vulnerabilities is crucial. We took a bottom-up approach to understand gender vulnerabilities through a participatory assessment in four villages in the West Champaran district of Bihar. The chapter argues that manifestations of gender-based vulnerabilities in a context of climate change are an interplay of various elements: social factors reflected in creating gender norms and values; political dimensions of access to basic services of water and sanitation, public distribution services and infrastructure development; and economic resources such as employment and credit. All these factors influence the livelihood options of women and men differently, determining their capability of responding to risks posed by climatic and socio-economic stressors. This chapter concludes by proposing solutions to minimize gendered vulnerabilities.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Subjects: Sustainable Development
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2023 14:06
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2023 14:06

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