November 17, 2023

Bangladeshi women’s group seeks climate win on Victory Day

  • On 7th December, a group of Bangladeshi women in Oldham held an important cultural event about climate change.
  • The event with Crossing Footprints and Ayna Arts brought together musicians, poets, and performers of Bangladeshi heritage, celebrating the run up to Victory Day on December 16th.
  • For several months, the Climate Connections Women’s Group has been working with Hope for the Future, Oldham Libraries, and Crossing Footprints to take action on climate change.
  • Councillor Abdul Jabbar attended the event and committed to meet with the women to discuss action on air pollution and climate locally.

Cllr Jabbar is the Cabinet member for Finance and Low Carbon. He was asked about his position on School Streets. This is a policy which would close the streets around schools to cars to encourage parents to walk to school with their children, reducing air pollution.

Credit: Kooj Chuhan

He expressed his personal support for the policy, but said that he needed to hear more from local residents before implementing it in any given school area. Importantly, he committed to meeting with the Climate Connections Women’s Group to continue the conversation. 

The event took place at Northmoor Library and brought together people of all ages from the local Bangladeshi community. There were poems, recited in Bangla and English - translated by Jesmin Chowdhury - which dramatised the Bangladeshi people’s struggles for their language rights, identity, and national independence. Music also played an important part in the evening, with brilliant performances from Nuruzzaman Ahmed, Mitra Kabir, Luthfur Rahman, and others.

Credit: Kooj Chuhan

Artwork from the Climate Connections Women’s Group was displayed, depicting the impacts of climate change and what needs to be done to tackle them through posters, drawings, and textile art. The women performed a parody of a well-known Bangla song with lyrics about the importance of reducing waste and pollution, and increasing the use of public transport instead of cars. The women talked about what the group meant to them and things they had learned over the 5 weeks of the project. The work will be exhibited at Northmoor Library until the end of February, under the title 'A Future For Our Children'.

Jesmin Chowdhury has been leading on the project, with the climate and nature charity Hope for the Future providing ongoing support for the project, based on their unique approach to effective engagement and communication between local people and their politicians.