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Advancing Gender Equality through Women-Led Climate Resilience

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We have seen how often the world’s toughest challenges are solved by investing in women and girls. To meet the gravest threat to our planet today, we must activate our greatest untapped resource: the resourcefulness, know-how, and leadership of women and girls.

Climate change threatens health and health systems in communities around the world. Countries like Pakistan, which is among the 10 countries most affected by extreme weather events; Niger, where more than 80% of the country’s population depends on agriculture; and Bangladesh, where climate change will displace 1 in 7 people by 2050 are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

Extreme weather caused by climate change is growing more severe, creating barriers to sexual and reproductive health and rights and exacerbating the inequities women and girls face every day. Climate change issues have negative impacts on maternal health and create conditions that result in increases in gender-based violence, including harmful practices such as child marriage. These climate issues may further impact health system capacities, limiting the ability for individuals to access SRHR services.

Advancing gender equality is a focus of global convenings such as the Generation Equality Forum and climate negotiations. With the CSW focus on achieving gender equality in the context of climate change, policy, and programs, this is a pivotal time to ensure that gender equality is at the core of the climate agenda moving forward. REGISTER >>


Barbara Merz, Managing Director of Empowerment Funds, Pathfinder International
Barbara is an experienced senior strategist and development expert. As Pathfinder’s Managing Director of Empowerment Funds, Barbara leads the design and strategy for Women-led Climate Resilience. Barbara was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship, a Stanford Fellowship in Negotiation and Mediation, and served as a Fellow for The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation. Barbara is a graduate of Stanford Law School. She holds a Master’s degree from Victoria University, and a Bachelor’s degree in International & Public Policy from Princeton University. 

Tabinda Sarosh, Country Director, Pathfinder Pakistan
Dr. Tabinda Sarosh has been the Country Director for Pathfinder in Pakistan since 2016 and is driven by a commitment to women’s and health rights for all. She is a seasoned practitioner in SRHR with technical leadership and management experience in programs and research at national, regional, and global levels across sectors. Tabinda has a BS in medicine and surgery from the Dow Medical College, Pakistan, a post graduate diploma in nutrition, is a certified gender-based violence capacity development promoter, and is an alumna of the summer school on Women, Peace and Security at the University of Leiden, Netherlands.  

Dr. Md. Rabiul Haque, Professor & Chairman of the Department of Population Sciences, University of Dhaka
Prof. Haque has obtained his post-graduate degrees in Sociology from the University of Dhaka, and Health and International Development from Flinders University, Australia. His doctoral degree focusing on healthcare of climate displaced population was obtained from Macquarie University, Australia. His understanding was extended by cumulating academic experience from Brown University, USA; National University, Australia and Heidelberg University, Germany. His research interest includes displacement and healthcare, maternal and child health, non-communicable diseases and population change in Bangladesh.

Sadia Rahman, Program Director of Light to Life and Gates Institute Ingenuity Fund Awardee
Sadia Rahman is a youth activist in Bangladesh. Currently She is leading Light to Life where she is working around youth SRHR, mental health and climate justice in Bangladesh. She recently won Gates Institutes Ingenuity Fund the project School of (Im)Possible.