Spotlight GEDA Members: Gender CC

  1. Please tell us about yourself and your work at Gender CC. 

Shaila: I am Shaila Shahid, an environmental lawyer currently serving as the Chair of Board of Directors of GenderCC which is a global network of organisations, experts and activists working for gender equality, women’s rights and climate justice. I am also the Advisory board members of the Tomorrow’s Cities, Urban Disaster Risk Hub, an initiative of UKRI and GCRF working globally to reduce the climate and disaster risks for the urban poor. With over 20 years of experience at national level I am currently serving as Senior Advisor of the Pittachhara Forest and Biodiversity Conservation Initiatives and National Alliance for drowning prevention, NADP in Bangladesh.

I had also served the Bangladesh Government as Chief Operating Officer of the Disaster Climate Change Support Unit under the Department of Public Health Engineering within Ministry of Local Government & Cooperatives. I am a World Wild Life Fund (WWF) Fellow and has been working on the intersections of climate change, disaster risk reduction, environmental governance, emergency response and gender mainstreaming since the very beginning of my career.

I have also got significant experience working with the refugee community mainly with Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh and Myanmar border particularly on water and sanitation, as well as emergency response and public health issues etc with a focus on women’s empowerment.

2. Why is data at the intersection of gender and environment/climate important to Gender CC?

Shaila: Gender data are critical drivers to achieving gender equality and advancing women’s empowerment for all the diverse group particularly women and girls around the world. Gender data enables policy makers, environmental actors, governance structures and businesses to take evidence-based decisions that eventually reveals the actual scenario to invest and help increase women’s well-being, access to economic opportunities and overall development outcomes. 

From the GenderCC perspectives, we need evidence-based data to identify the deep vulnerability of Women* and BIPoC (and among these groups), caused by climate change, discernible – on the one side. On the other side we need data to highlight the following: the particular impact of climate change and its consequences on vulnerable groups is not only due to structural discrimination, but is also often only made visible by a chain of consequences. e.g. the globally greater risk of poverty and food insecurity among women and girls due to the long-term consequences of climate change, but also due to their limited access to resources, denied rights etc.       
As we have put it in our alternative CEDAW-statement, 2023 (available on our website):

It is a well-known fact that climate change impacts are not gender neutral. Women and girls [i]  are
among those hardest hit by the climate crisis. As the 6th IPCC report plainly states, globally, women and BIPoC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) are most vulnerable to the drastic effects of global warming. [ii]  This high degree of vulnerability derives not only from the destruction of ecosystems, but also from socioeconomic inequalities and discrimination. Moreover, climate change responses can have adverse effects on gender equality which should be taken into account in policy-making.

[i]  In our work and in this statement, we take a transformative, intersectional gender approach. We share a non- binary and inclusive understanding of gender that includes all people who define themselves as women and girls.

[ii]  Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability (

3. What inspired you to become part of GEDA?

Shaila:I have been actively engaged with different global women’s network since my early career and worked with Women’s Major Group, Women and Gender Constituency (WGC) of UNFCCC. In my long career I have been always actively pushing for women’s agenda to come into surface and have been involved with numerous policy making process nationally, regionally and globally in favour of women, vulnerable groups and marginalized populations. I had contributed for developing the guidelines on Sex, Age and Disability Disaggregated Data (SADDD) data provisions in the Bangladesh from the government side. Successfully incorporated gender responsive indicators in the Sanitation dashboard of the Bangladesh government. So, given the context, the formation of GEDA was really exciting and GEDA is providing an incredible platform to influence, support, sharing lessons learned and empowering stories for data visibility which led me to be part of GEDA. I have witnessed that despite powerful women’s organisations and even in most challenging context non-existence of adequate context specific data can really hamper the whole development outcome which is utmost critical to deliver vital services and influence the decision makers. Through mobilizing data governance, we would be able to achieve further milestones for women and marginalized groups.

In addition, GenderCC believes that high-quality, context specific data are key to achieve gender equality and measure the progress of women’s advancement. It is equally important to ensure an enabling, accountable and transparent mechanism in the process of collecting both quantitative and qualitative data to build robust knowledge management and information system to inform policy decisions and investments.

4. Congratulations on winning the WIN-DRR Leadership Award for Excellence in Asia-Pacific! From an individual level, why are you excited about this award? How does it impact your work as Chair of GenderCC?

Shaila: I am immensely honoured to be recognized for my work and receiving the 2023 WIN-DRR Leadership Award for Excellence in Asia-Pacific by UNDRR. My motivation for my work is people, especially the women, I always feel that women are the faces of resilience, the invisible force of resilience but I also like to mention here that I am a witness of the deadliest ever cyclone that hit Bangladesh in 1991 killing over 140,000 people and causing 10 million to lose their homes. 90% of fatalities were women the damage cost 1.7 billion USD, so that was my awakening and biggest motivation ever to start working for vulnerable groups. The winning of the award broadened my responsibility even more to keep continue working in the field of climate change, disaster and environmental governance while thriving to bring the voices of women in the forefront. The recognition also gave me huge confidence which eventually led me to be elected as the Chair of GenderCC board. As Chair of GenderCC I look forward to work with all the global members and organisations as well as with GEDA partners for a gender-responsive data governance. I am particularly interested to community-driven data gathering and compilation approach with local ownership engaging women’s organizations and agency which is going to provide viable solutions to flourish the national data ecosystem and ensure data accountability.

5. What are you looking forward to in terms of gender and environment data this year?

Shaila: High quality context specific SADDD data are key to ensure visibility on gender-based inequalities and discriminations. In terms of gender and environment data I am envisioning to connect with local organisations and develop their capacity to be acknowledged in the national data ecosystem as well as build their credibility, so they can become integral to the data governance. I am excited about GEDA’s work and part of advocacy working group and I hope we would be able to influence policy makers and donors on the needs of investing more in gender responsive data while implementing any project or programmes. Data should be more widely accessible, collected through transparent manners and utilized to tackle the barriers to inclusion and challenging the social inequality.

6. Is there a specific resource you’d like to share with the GEDA Insights Network?

Shaila:I would invite all the GEDA members to visit the GenderCC website and particularly happy to share the Gender Assessment and Monitoring of Mitigation and Adaptation (GAMMA) Methodology.

Please find here the advance version of our booklet “The Gender Assessment and Monitoring of Adaptation and Mitigation (GAMMA) methodology: a practical handbook on gender and urban climate policy” developed in the project “Gender into Urban Climate Change Initiative” (GUCCI). You can access it in the download section on the right side. 

Here is the link to access the GAMMA methodology:

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