Exploring the Nexus Between Climate Change and Religious Fundamentalism and Influences on Achieving SRHR

October 18, 2016 exploring-the-nexus-between-climate-change-and-religious-fundamentalism-and-influences-on-achieving-srhr

In 2014, the Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW), in building on its intersectional work on climate change and religious fundamentalism commenced with a 3-year project titled “Building New Constituency for Women’s SRHR: Working with Rights-based Climate Change/Environment Groups and Faith-based Groups to Build Momentum for SRHR in the Lead-up to the New Development Framework”. The project with support from Norad focuses on two emerging challenges in the region, that is climate change and religious fundamentalism (including extremism and narrow interpretations of religion), which affect and curb the full realisation of women and girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). This work stems from the need to address the growing influence of these aspects on SRHR through more analysis and cross sectional movement building.

Eighteen partners from Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Maldives, Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka are involved in this project. Eight partners worked on climate change (referred to as CC from here onwards), and 10 partners worked on religious fundamentalism (referred to as RF from here onwards).

The project aims to facilitate an evidence-base, argumentation and an alliance of advocates which enables local and broad ownership as well as advocacy for the SRHR agenda to advance sustainable development with particular emphasis on new challenges such as religious fundamentalism and climate change, utilising regional and international spaces availed by the UN processes including the ICPD+20 review/ Beijing review/ MDG review processes.

One of the objectives of this project is to establish the link between poverty and SRHR which is exacerbated by the issues of religious fundamentalism and climate change in research and advocacy activities in the Asia Pacific region, thereby moving the debate on both topics onto the next level. This week, the project partners meet for a workshop that will share findings and learnings across the project and explore and debate the intersectionality between these issues and how women’s SRHR have been and can be affected.

With the completion of the project by the end of 2016, it is timely to gather these CC and RF partners together to explore and discuss potential influence of climate change and religious fundamentalism on SRHR as well as proposed ways forward on how women’s SRHR are affected by these intersectionality. It is also hoped that through this joint workshop the CC and RF partners within each country would use this opportunity to begin collaborating/working together to advance women’s SRHR in their respective country in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development[1] and the Paris Agreement[2].

Follow the discussions online from 19-21 October 2016 between 9am – 5pm (GMT+8) using #SRHRIntersections on Twitter (@ARROW_Women).

The workshop will also see the launch of country reports, scoping studies and advocacy briefs from the project.

Multi-country scoping study on SRHR of women related to impact of climate change

Bangladesh – Khan Foundation – Women’s SRHR and Climate Change: What is the Connection?

Indonesia – Yayasan Jurnal Perempuan (YJP) – Interlinkages between Women’s SRHR & Climate Change: Mainstreaming Policy in Central Java

Lao PDR – University of Health Sciences (UHS) – Linking Climate Change and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights: Implication for Public Health Policy Approach in Lao PDR

Malaysia – Penita Initiative – A Focus on Indigenous Communities

Maldives – Interlinkages of Climate Change and SRHR of Women in Maldives

Nepal – Women’s Rehabilitation Centre (WOREC) – Research Report on the Interrelationship between Climate Change, Agriculture, Food Security and Sexual and Reproductive Health

Pakistan – Sindh Community Foundation (SCF) – Understanding Climate Change Impact on Women’s Reproductive Health: Post Disaster Interventions in Sindh Province

Philippines – PATH Foundation Philippines, Inc. (PFPI) – Linking SRHR, Population, Health, Environment and Climate Change Initiatives: A Scoping Study on Women and Fishers in the Philippines

Advocacy Briefs on SRHR of Women Related to Impact of Climate Change


Indonesia – English and Bahasa Indonesia







National Reports – Building New Constituencies for Women’s SRHR: Interlinkages between Religion and SRHR

Maldives – Society for Health Education (SHE) – Perceptions of Islam and SRHR in the Maldives

Morocco – Morocco Family Planning Association (MFPA) – Religious Fundamentalism and Access to Safe Abortion Services in Morocco

Pakistan – Shirkat Gah – Women’s Resource Centre – Impact of Fundamentalist Discourses on Family Planning Practices in Pakistan

Sri Lanka – Women and Media Collective (WMC) – Ethno-Religious Nationalism and SRHR in Sri Lanka: A social media, print media and policy review

Watch out for reports from Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Maldives.

[1] See https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/transformingourworld

[2] See http://unfccc.int/paris_agreement/items/9485.php