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Politics and Government


Professor Dr. Noha Shawki

Mentor Department

Politics and Government


This paper critically examines the human rights situations of women in coastal areas of Bangladesh with a special focus on the harmful effects of water salinity on health. Coastal areas in Bangladesh are particularly susceptible to climate change-induced challenges, including salinization of water sources. Our analysis investigates the intersectionality of environmental degradation and human rights, emphasizing the disproportionate impact on women's health.

Based on the human rights framework, our study explores how saline water worsens existing inequalities, limiting women's access to clean drinking water, adequate sanitation facilities, and essential healthcare services. By centering human rights principles, we highlight the interconnectedness between environmental degradation and violations of women's rights to water and sanitation, emphasizing the right to health, and safe living conditions.

As Bangladesh struggles with escalating sea-level rise, with projections indicating a substantial increase by 2100, the prevalence of water salinity poses a grave threat to coastal communities' well-being and rights. About 73 percent of the population is deprived of drinking water in coastal areas (BEDS, 2020). About 20 million people have already faced the crisis of drinking water in the salinity areas of Bangladesh (World Bank, 2020). Our analysis underscores the urgent need for comprehensive interventions that address this issue's human rights dimensions.

While existing research has studied various health consequences of water salinity, our study fills a gap by focusing on the violations of human rights—the right to water and sanitation. Coastal women disproportionately bear the burden of water salinity and face heightened risks due to their reliance on contaminated water sources for daily activities.

By highlighting the right to water and sanitation principles, our analysis provides valuable insights for policymakers, advocates, and practitioners to develop inclusive and rights-based strategies aimed at mitigating the adverse effects of water salinity on women's health and well-being in coastal regions.

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