Climate change is forcing locals of coastal areas to use excessive saline water in daily life, which is subsequently causing various uterine diseases and disrupting the menstrual health and hygiene of girls and women, said speakers at a programme yesterday.
They said this while speaking at a virtual press conference organised by National Committee for International Rural Women’s Day Observation. The event will be observed today.
“The amount of salt that’s entering women’s bodies with drinking water is causing more miscarriages in women in coastal areas than in other parts of the country. Due to the lack of financial ability to get long-term treatment, most marginal women consider a hysterectomy as a permanent solution,” said Tamanna Rahman, national committee member, while presenting the keynote speech.
She said the lack of clean water force most girls to wash their menstrual clothes with salt water, which causes various diseases in the uterus. Women living in hilly areas suffer from malnutrition, and many of them often fall ill while fetching water along the mountainous paths.
“The risk of child marriage is increasing in climate-affected areas,” she added.
Addressing the programme, Masuda Farooq Rata, a committee member, said, “The children of affected families are being forced to join work to earn money. Apart from other forms of child abuse, many families are marrying off girl children early.”
Syed Aminul Hoque, another committee member, advised creating alternative employment opportunities for women in haor and coastal areas, and providing necessary training and raw materials to those interested.
The committee chairperson, Shamima Akhter, said women are suffering from common water-borne diseases, including leucorrhoea, due to the use of salt water for daily household work.
Speakers also urged for water-purifying plants at government expense in salinity-prone areas and specialised services to women and girls in community clinics.