Enhancing resilience through gender equality

Between July 2012 and December 2015, CARE implemented a community-based adaptation project in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region. The ‘’Integrated Community-based Adaptation in the Mekong region” (ICAM) project aimed to increase the capacity of communities to plan, adapt and respond to climate change and disasters.

ICAM Project Brief

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One woman who benefitted from CARE’s forward planning on gender equality in its project, was Ma Rim. Ma Rim is a Cham woman from An Giang province. Living and working on the rivers for decades, and being affected increasingly by volatile weather, has made life difficult for Ma Rim.

But in September 2013, Ma Rim, along with other Cham women, joined one of the many village climate change adaptation meetings organised by CARE, together with the local Women’s Union. During these meetings, the women enthusiastically discussed past, current and future weather and climate trends, how they impacted their daily lives and community in different ways, and what people could do about it.

“Participating in these exercises was fun but has also taught me a lot about how and why the weather changes so much lately and how my village will be affected,” says Ma Rim.

The village meetings also had an encouraging impact. As an ethnic Cham woman, Ma Rim was not previously able to join the community meetings – and missed out on a lot of information. In the past, Cham women would stay at home and not go to school. They were told what to do by their husbands.

Fortunately, things are changing for the better and meetings, such as the ones supported by CARE, have contributed to this change.

“It’s been very helpful for all of us Cham women. Now Cham men and women are more equal and I am more involved. I value the importance of knowledge and education much more which I will carry on to my children,” Ma Rim confirms.