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CSD NGO Women's Caucus
and Sustainable Energy
PERSPECTIVES ON ENERGY FOR CSD-9
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position paper including recommendations proposed by the ENERGIA Support
Group and the CSD NGO Women's Caucus *
Addressing Gender in Energy
Networking and Partnerships
sectoral focuses of CSD9 are energy and transport, both key elements in the
drive towards sustainable development. Sustainable energy policy should
concern sustainable access to sustainable energy. In
considering sustainable energy options, the access to these by different
groups in the population is sometimes overlooked. This paper sets out the
reasons, both from a Southern and from a Northern perspective, why gender
issues need to be more strongly integrated into energy policies, planning
and projects, to increase sustainable energy access for women. It refers to
relevant recommendations made at UN meetings and other expert gatherings and
lists a number of major achievements in both North and South. Ten general
recommendations for engendering energy and empowering women are made, as
well as specific recommendations for the Commission on Sustainable
Development, international agencies, donor agencies, governments, business
and industry, workers and trades unions, NGOs and other groups in civil
that a broad consensus exists that:
Empowering women and
improving their status are essential to realizing the full potential of
economic, political and social development.
Empowering women is an important equity and human
rights goal in itself.
given continuing gender disparities despite economic growth highlighted at
the Beijing conference in 1995 and at Beijing+5 in June 2000, such as
70% of the approximately 1.3 billion people living
in poverty are women,
women have access to a disproportionately small
share of credit from formal banking institutions, e.g. only about 10% in
women in general receive much lower average wages
globally, women occupy only 10% of all parliamentary
seats and only 6% of cabinet positions,
throughout the world women face unequal treatment
under the law, and often face violence and abuse as both girls and women.
into account the recommendations of recent United Nations conventions and
the UNCED in Rio in 1992, and
Rio+5 in 1997, in which Agenda 21 included the advancement of women as a
cross-cutting issue and four major energy program areas in support of
sustainable development were identified (promoting the energy transition,
increasing energy efficiency, promoting renewable energy sources, and
promoting sustainable transport systems),
the Beijing Conference on Women in 1995 and
Beijing+5 in 2000 in New York, where the Platform for Action related
energy to women's health, environmental and productive roles and concerns,
the World Summit for Social
Development in Copenhagen in 1995 and Copenhagen+5 in 2000 in Geneva,
which placed energy concerns within a sustainable livelihoods framework.
well as the recommendations on women's role in energy by a number of recent
expert and Ministerial meetings:
"Gender Issues in Wood Energy Workshop"
organised by Gender and Development Studies for FAO/RWEDP, Bangkok, 21-23
Workshop on "Moving
Toward Equity and Sustainability in Rural Energy: Putting Gender Concepts
into Action" at 8th International Village Power
Conference, Washington DC, December 2000
"Women in Energy
Ministerial Meeting", Durban, 11-12 December 2000
ENERGIA workshop on Women and Energy in
Africa, Nairobi, March 2000
Expert Workshop on "Gender Perspectives for
Earth Summit 2002: Energy, Transport, Information for Decision
Making", Berlin, January 2001
note of women's key roles and interests in energy consumption and often
production, both in the North and the South, for example
as the principal consumers and users of household
energy and transport, a major portion of total energy use, and as
purchasers of stoves, automobiles, and other energy-using appliances as
well as the selectors of cooking fuels,
as the main actors in determining their household's
direct and indirect energy consumption - use of heating and air
conditioning, hot water and electrical appliances; the choice of time of
use (and therefore peak use); household purchases, which may be more or
less energy intensively produced; and the use of household transport,
as victims of environmental pollution due to energy
use, particularly vulnerable due to their reproductive roles and household
responsibility for cooking; and as victims of high energy prices and
expenditures, especially female-headed households that make up a large
portion of the poor:
Women in the North have been particular
victims of exposure to nuclear radiation and, as a consequence of their
exposure, suffer higher levels of stress than men following radiation
Women in the South have been victims of
unregulated pollution caused by old, improperly maintained equipment
exuding pollutants into the air.
as more frequent users of
public transport and pedestrian walkways than men,
as the primary educators and formers of their
children's future energy conservation and consumption habits,
as effective activists on
energy questions in health, environmental, children's and peace-related
organisations and issues, ranging from community education for recycling,
to lobbying for sustainable energy, to anti-nuclear protests.
in mind that, in developing countries, energy security is related to health
security, food security and livelihood security because
Rural women (and their children) are the primary
collectors of wood and residue fuels, which account for 80% of all
household energy use in many developing countries. Based on FAO estimates,
the proportions of rural women affected by fuelwood scarcity range from
60% in Africa, to nearly 80% in Asia, and nearly 40% in Latin America.
Time spent in fuel collection in fuel-scarce areas can range from 1 to 5
hours per household per day. Where fuel is commercialised, women's work
must pay for purchasing household energy.
The real rural energy crisis is rural women's time,
with women working longer work days than men in providing human energy for
survival activities such as fuel and water carrying, cooking, food
processing, transport, agriculture, and small enterprises, non-monetised
work which is largely invisible in national energy accounts and labour
Many income activities of women in the informal
sector - often critical to family economic survival - are fuel intensive,
and the viability of these activities is affected by energy prices and
Energy scarcity impinges on the provision of other
basic services, such as water, health, and education. For example, the
proportions of rural women affected by water scarcity are estimated to be
55% in Africa, 32% in Asia, and 45% in Latin America, with the median time
for collecting water in the dry season about 1.6 hours per day.
More than half the world's households cook daily
with wood, crop residues, dung and untreated coal, as a result of which
women and children have the highest exposures to indoor air pollution,
linked to acute respiratory infections, chronic obstructive lung diseases,
low birth weights, sinus headaches, lung cancer and eye problems.
Women deal with risky and hazardous environments as
gatherers and move through difficult terrains as porters. Other
occupational health hazards for women involved in energy use and
production include bone fractures, repetitive strain injuries, sprains,
back disorders and miscarriages due to fuelwood load carrying; and
exposure to burns and smoke, skin diseases, in informal sector
Physical and psychological violence against women
has been reported: rapes while gathering fuelwood around refugee camps in
Somalia, undergoing sniper fire to gather fuel in Sarejevo, and bride
suicides related to women's inability to meet their family's wood fuel
needs in India.
There are few women who have access to the education
and support systems necessary to negotiate careers in the energy sector,
hindering the development of energy policies and technologies better
suited to women’s needs and wishes.
with satisfaction the considerable strides made in the past five years in
advancing gender and sustainable energy as an issue in the South:
documenting women's roles in the energy sector, involving women in energy
projects and planning, and placing women's concerns on the agenda of
international energy programmes and meetings, such as
The UNDP Energy and Atmosphere Program "Energy
and Women: Generating Opportunities for Development" project together
with regional and country offices in Africa, and including a Southern
African regional workshop in 1999 and case studies;
The World Bank Energy Sector Management Program
(ESMAP) "Gender Facility" to support innovative approaches and
learning and develop and implement a strategy for gender mainstreaming in
the energy sector;
Seminars, workshops and consultations for awareness
and capacity-building in Southeast Asian countries and China on gender and
wood energy, coordinated by the (Asia) Regional Wood Energy Development
Program (RWEDP) of FAO;
Symposia on women and sustainable energy at major
international energy meetings such as World Renewable Energy Congresses in
1996 and 1998, and at Village Power '98 and 2000;
The UNIFEM Energy and Environment Technology
Sourcebooks Series, including to date Water Supply, Rural Transport,
Electricity in Households and Micro-Enterprises, and Energy Efficiency for
Small- and Medium-Scale Enterprises.
Milestones in Addressing Gender in Energy
note of some specific examples of successful approaches to increasing
sustainable energy access for women in the South, including
Financing energy services and income-generation for
the poor, including women - the ENSIGN project of the Asia/Pacific
Development Centre and UNDP, combines micro-credit loans for energy
services and for corresponding income-generating activities, co-financed
by a revolving fund and national financing institutions such as the
Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA) Bank, with average income growth
of 66% in the participating households.
In Nepal, enhancing rural livelihoods through
decentralized and people-centered development based on the promotion of
rural energy technologies, especially micro-hydro as an entry point, has
been the focus of the UNDP Rural Energy Development (REDP) Program in
Nepal, with a community mobilization process designed to promote gender
development for equity and equal access.
Small engines to which a
variety of end use equipment can be attached (mills, alternators, oil
presses, etc.) are being promoted through women's associations in Mali as
a rural enterprise, to address rural women's need both for income and for
time-saving, and especially to help solve bottlenecks in time and energy
intensive multi-tasking activities such as post-harvest food processing
(grinding, dehusking, oil extraction) in which rural women presently use
only their own labour.
The Vietnam Women's Union, a
nationwide social service organisation, has been active in the promotion
of solar home systems, supervising motivators who sign up households and
administering a revolving credit fund, to meet the electricity needs of
the 70-80% of rural households without electricity.
Improved cooking stove
projects have saved woodfuel, women's time, and costs as well as their
health in several countries in Africa. In Kenya, e.g., a cost-benefit
study showed that users saved between 3 and 20 hours weekly on gathering
fuelwood, or, if purchased, 40-50% of the cost of fuelwood, while reducing
smoke emissions by a factor of 2.6. Household energy programs also
produced additional income opportunities for craftspeople and strengthened
the confidence and self-help potential in women's organisations.
In 13 village solar pumping
projects in Brazil, women's participation in the maintenance of wells was
integrated with education on health matters relating to drinking water,
childcare, etc., and proved a key factor in the trouble-free operation of
the solar pumps and the effective enhancement of public health in the
villages where the pumps were installed.
Women in the Solomon Islands
have been addressing their community needs by using electricity from
hydropower. The women recognized the value of electricity in providing
amenities for young people which would encourage them to stay in the
villages and so retain the social fabric and economic stability of the
Women in Bangladesh are
becoming energy entrepreneurs. 33 rural women in Char Montaz are engaged
in construction and sale of efficient fluorescent lamps. More than 600
lamps have been sold for use with small batteries, lighting houses, shops,
fishing boats and mosques. Constructing and selling two lamps per day
increases the woman’s household income by 100 Taka (approximately US$2)
making her earnings comparable to that of a skilled labourer. Not only
does her household benefit through increased purchasing power but the
woman’s social status also improves.
in mind that in the North, there is a growing divide between rich and poor
and that this has a distinct gender perspective: 15.4% of women and 12% of
men are below the poverty line in the USA. Poor women are disproportionately
found as heads of single parent families and, due to their greater longevity
than men, of pensionable age. Since there are more women than men below the
poverty line, more women will live in energy poverty.
into account that Northern climates create the need for space heating for
significant parts of the year:
Poor people suffer from fuel
poverty when a significant portion of their income is spent on energy.,.
In 1991, in the UK, 7 million households (36% of total) suffered from fuel
poverty, defined as spending more than 20% of household income on fuel.
Poor people live in housing
with poor insulation and frequently use second-hand equipment with poor
energy efficiency. Both factors contribute to the high energy costs of
Poor people use electricity
and coal for heating and cooking, which, combined with lower efficiency
equipment, disproportionately compared to higher income groups contributes
to global warming.
Young children and older
people have special heating requirements to reduce their vulnerability to
in mind that in the North, women have shown a deep concern with energy
choices yet are under-represented in the sector:
Women are considered to be
more favourable than men to energy conservation and renewable energy and
opposed to nuclear power. For example, in Sweden, in the late 1990’s,
80% of young women were found to be against the long-term use of nuclear
Modern forms of energy have
been responsible for reducing the drudgery of and time taken for
housework, enabling women to participate in activities outside of the
Despite the increased access
by women to science and engineering education, women still make up less
than half of students enrolled on energy courses in many Northern
The energy industry is
perceived as a male preserve. In Western Europe, more than 80% of
employees in the electricity companies are men and more than 90% of all
managers are men. In Australia, women make up 20% of the work force in the
Electricity, Gas and Water sector. Women occupy less than 5% of technical
posts within the energy sector.
note of some specific examples of successful initiatives to increase women's
experience and skills in the energy sector in the North, such as
Women in the North are
establishing renewable energy co-operatives and businesses: For example,
in Germany, the Windfang women's wind energy cooperative, with more than
200 members, profitably operates more than 1600 kW of installed capacity
wind turbines in Northern Germany, balancing profitability,
eco-technology, and the development of women's technical capabilities by
increasing their work experience in energy projects. Women have also been
able to contribute to the financing of the co-operative and so enable the
development of energy resources that meet their ethical values.
Energy companies, for
example, in Canada and Europe, are beginning to recognize the particular
beneficial role that women bring to the workplace, that their skills, such
as communicative abilities, can be complementary to men’s which leads to
a more balanced and efficient organisation.
To overcome labour market
segregation in the energy sector, a network of electricity utilities and
trade unions in Europe has produced a guideline "Equal Opportunities
in the Energy Sector". In Canada, the Oil and Gas Sector is promoting
the participation of women in non-traditional areas through diversity
management, which recognises the contributions people can make as capable
individuals, rather than as members of designated groups.
Training in a supportive
environment increases women’s skills and confidence with technology and
enables them to enter non-traditional areas. Women from the USA and Canada
have increased their solar energy capabilities through the Women’s
Photovoltaics workshop run by Solar Energy International.
note that in some areas of the North that are presently war-torn, or that
are recovering from strife:
Women and the elderly and
children they care for are particularly affected by lack of heating and
cooking fuel, especially in severe wintertime. This is particularly true
in Bosnia, Kosovo, Yugoslavia, Chechnya.
with satisfaction, some of the actions to redress women’s influence on
energy agendas in the North:
The ENEQO Project to promote
Equal Opportunities within the Energy Sector funded by the Commission of
the European Communities’ Community Action Programme on Equal
Opportunities for Women and Men.
The initiative by the World
Energy Council to set up a data base of women professionals in the energy
sector and the establishment of a Global Women’s Energy Network (GWEN).
The research study by the
Commission of the European Communities in 2000 to evaluate to what extent
its energy research programme is research by women, for
women and on women with a view to ensuring gender equity in terms
of women participating in research and research that addresses women’s
Broader initiatives by
governments, for example in the USA, Canada, UK, EU and Sweden,to overcome
labour market segregation by gender and to encourage the participation of
women in Science and Engineering, such as gender disaggregated statistics,
mentoring programmes and childcare support.
Networking and Partnerships
to the under-representation of women, women in the energy sector, as any
other minority members, can often feel isolated. Networking has proven
valuable to women in the energy sector, both in the North and in the South.
Often, networks include working with men who are interested in gender
issues. For example:
The ENERGIA International
Network on Gender and Energy, based in The Netherlands, since 1995 has
acted as an international catalyst and focal point, including publishing
ENERGIA News, a quarterly newsletter and encouraging the establishment of
national and regional networks;
The Red Mesoamericana de
Género en Energía Sostenible (GENES), the Meso American Network on
Gender and Sustainable Energy established in 1998 with support from USAID
and Winrock International, in Fundacion Solar in Guatemala, to promote
gender-focused energy development and stimulate energy projects that
contribute to equitable social and economic development. More than 50
organizations from the region, ranging from women's cooperatives to
agricultural producer associations and national energy agencies, are
represented by focal points in seven Meso American countries (Mexico,
Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Honduras;
In Africa, national and
sub-regional networks on gender and energy are forming to stimulate
integrated gender-energy-development activities, based on an Action Plan
developed at a regional Africa workshop in partnership with ENERGIA, the
Environmental Liaison Centre International (ELCI), Winrock International,
and UNIFEM in March 2000;
In South Africa,
the Woman’s Energy Group (WEG) was
established in 1993 in order to promote science and technology as
careers for women and to put these at the service of poor women. WEG
contributed to putting women and gender issues into the new National
Men in the Department of Minerals and
Energy have signed a unique Pledge to end discrimination at home and in
the workplace as a first step towards eliminating gender inequities in
The All-India Women's
Conference has worked with rural women's organisations throughout India to
improve energy supplies, and has represented women in high-level energy
meetings and policy boards.
Women in Germany have set up
"Energiefrauen" (Women in Energy), a national informal network
of more than 150 women students and professionals.
In Colorado USA, women energy
professionals have formed the Helen Reddy Kilowatt Network for information
Professional capacities and
leadership abilities of women working in the oil and gas sector in
Pakistan have been enhanced and gender equity addressed with support from
the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) through the Pakistan
Petroleum Women's Network.
The Plutonium Free Future
Women's Network (Rainbow Serpent), based in Japan, has published the
"Women's Handbook on Safe Energy" and has campaigned to demand
that governments shift their investments and subsidies away from nuclear
and fossil fuels and towards safe, renewable energy systems.
the goal of increasing sustainable energy access for women through both
empowering women and engendering energy, the following recommendations for
study and action are made:
Integrate energy access and finance for income-generation
in a holistic approach to improve the social and economic status of women.
This would consist of offering a bundle of services to enable women to
access improved energy, while at the same time enhancing women's
entrepreneurial skills, self-respect and self-confidence.
Any assistance in using energy services to
earn income would be most welcomed by poor women, such as any
opportunities for themselves to build, sell, maintain or repair energy
Poor women could be energy entrepreneurs for
improved technologies for households and small-scale industry, as has
occurred in Mali.
Women typically use additional income earned
to purchase food, for school fees, and for other essentials for their
families. In India for example, poor women with AIWC assistance are using
micro-credit to make fuel briquettes from dried leaves and the income to
build urgently need sanitary toilets.
Specifically address poor women's development needs for labour-saving, for
time-saving, for improved health, for security, and for income in rural
energy projects and technology research.
An energy strategy for poor women should help
them to reduce their heavy workload in water carrying, food processing and
transport, through improved water pumping and purification, through grain
mills or improved transport facilities, or through promotion of the notion
of men and women sharing responsibilities.
Improved home and street lighting and rural
electrification might come next in priority for poor women.
Using electricity to improve health and
education facilities and services would be of interest to them.
Adapt and apply specific, proven "best practice" development
sector approaches to overcome institutional
factors such as women's lack of access to credit, extension, training and
employment in the energy sector (which are also barriers to energy access by
the poor generally) and to ensure that energy will be a means to development
rather than an end. For example,
micro-credit financing aimed at
income-generation for the poor,
participatory assessment methodologies, and
integration of energy into other development
sector projects such as health, water, forestry, food security, etc.
proven approaches to benefiting women and the poor that can be applied in
the energy sector; still others can be identified, adapted and applied.
Require disaggregation of information by gender at all levels in the energy
sector (target groups, beneficiaries, project
staff, planners, policy, etc.) and for all issues, e.g. needs, preferences,
decision-making, access to credit and information in market surveys,
economic and health benefits and impacts of pricing policies and different
energy technologies, development assistance project portfolios, etc. This
would improve the data on which projects, planning and policies are based,
and very likely the benefits to women. As important as generating data, is
to establish frameworks through which gender-disaggregated data can be fed
into decision-making channels at all levels.
Prioritise the cooking energy crisis and women's health in developing
countries. Any energy assistance aimed at
improving women's access to energy must include cooking:
Cooking is poor women’s main energy use, so
an energy strategy for poor women would have a large component of
traditional fuel use improvement, whether improved biomass stoves and
fuels or better management of biomass supplies.
This could improve family health, both by
reducing smoke and indoor air pollution, and by decreasing women’s and
children’s workload in woodfuel collection and cleaning.
It might also include measures to help poor
women to shift to safer, cleaner and more efficient modern fuels for
cooking, such as kerosene or natural gas, or even solar cookers, where
pricing policies and availability of both stoves and fuels would be a
Enable institutional representation of women in decision-making in
organizations and fora that affect women’s vital energy interests. For
example, a national energy strategy that focused on poor women’s needs
would provide opportunities for poor women’s organisations and views to be
represented as stakeholders in policy decisions on macro energy planning and
pricing. Defining the membership of energy organizations in a way which
enables balanced participation by gender in their organizational processes
would encourage gender equity in decision-making. Even more important than
numbers is establishing a framework and an environment in which women's
concerns can be addressed. This should include institutional frameworks for
representation at all levels: local, national, international fora.
Support capacity building and partnerships of women and men involved in
energy to enable the development of a critical
mass of women and men with the capabilities to change the policies,
programmes and practices that affect women and their energy choices.
Capacity building needs to be tailor made for specific groups, eg:
Training courses for male energy policy
makers, planners and development workers, to enable them to take a more
gender sensitive approach.
Workshops for grassroots women to develop
skills for articulate their own needs and interests, and for development
workers to understand and be able to work with these.
Improved access for women to higher education
to increase the number of women professionals working in the energy
Sensitisation of employers and employees
of the benefits of women as technical professionals in the energy sector.
Address issues of energy insufficiency in war-torn countries and in refugee
camps, where the situation of women and children is especially vulnerable, to
enable critical availability to prevent or mitigate hardship, by all means
necessary ranging from legal to institutional and operational, taking into
account that these matters are crucial both in tropical and in colder
Create more knowledge, analysis and understanding of gender and energy
linkages and needs in the North, and how these can
better link and interact with international, governmental and major group
level to improve women's access to safe, affordable and convenient energy in
both the North and the South.
Provide technical, catalytic, moral, financial and political support to
efforts to promote joint South-South and
North-South initiatives between energy sector and development sector
professionals, organisations and projects, including both women and men,
through capacity building, workshops, electronic communications, advocacy,
research and networking at the local, national, regional and international
The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) should:
Establish an ongoing process on
gender and energy, hosted by an appropriate organisation such as World Bank
or UNDP, to facilitate a multi-stakeholder process on gender and sustainable
energy. For example, as there are numerous programmes and initiatives which
have been established over the last years, an inter-agency working group
meeting twice yearly could ensure better coordination of ongoing activities,
enhance links with other development sectors and facilitate exchange between
Address urgently the priority
issues listed under "General Recommendations" above in this
intergovernmental mechanism, which should include stakeholders from all
levels. A first meeting should agree on a program of work between now and
2002. Results of increased coordination and benefits of exchange should be
presented to Earth Summit 2002.
In the review of implementation
of Agenda 21, CSD-10 should address, at a minimum, to ensure whether a
gender perspective has been included:
gender disaggregation at all levels,
including budget allocations for the following areas;
attention to cooking energy and women's
attention to women's development needs for
labour- and time-saving, security, and income;
capacity building of women and men enhancing
their capabilities to improve women's access to energy;
attention to the efficacy of the increasing
numbers of renewable installations in developing countries;
attention to sustainability of public
transport systems; and
support to networks and partnerships on women
International agencies (e.g. UNDP, UNEP, GEF, Convention Secretariats, World
Bank Climate Change Convention process) should:
In their work on energy
related issues and projects, review the available data and knowledge on
relevant gender aspects. Gender impact assessment of development
programmes and projects should be institutionalised. Relevant stakeholders
should be part of review and re-design efforts, through transparent
Donor governments and agencies should:
Support the identification,
adaptation and application of proven methodologies for increasing
attention to women's needs in energy projects and programs, such as gender
training for all stakeholders, gender analysis, participatory assessment,
integration with other development sectors, and using indigenous knowledge
in the design of solutions.
When designing support
projects, work with women's stakeholder groups in partnership, giving
priority to organizations that are directly owned and managed by poor and
Uphold gender equity as a
principle within their own organisations.
Support mainstreaming women,
balanced gender development, and deliberately raising the status of women
in all social, economic and political aspects of development, including
the energy sector. Of particular concern is policy and legislation
concerning women's equal rights to inheritance and property since this
affects their ability to make strategic choices about energy.
Set an example of gender
equity and use of sustainable energy in their own organizations, e.g.
passive solar construction, energy efficiency retrofits.
Collect and analyse gender
disaggregated data to provide adequate and accessible information on
gender and energy for stakeholders at all levels.
Promote partnerships among
governmental and non-governmental organisations as well as with the
private sector, to address women's sustainable energy needs.
Give priority to energy
development projects that directly address poverty alleviation and gender
equity in their design, and ensure appropriate collaboration among energy
and other development sector ministries and departments, such as those
responsible for agriculture, health, water, industry, and women, among
When designing projects, work
with women's stakeholder groups in partnership, giving priority to
organizations that are directly owned and managed by poor and women
Include women's organisations
and groups that are addressing women's energy needs in stakeholder
consultations on macro-economic energy policy issues such as energy
pricing, availability, major investments, and budget allocations. Include
or produce a women’s energy budget.
Encourage women entrepreneurs
to enter the energy sector, whether in petroleum products, renewable
energies, or biomass fuels and related appliances. For example, biofuels
are no longer a freely available commodity, but often a business. In Sri
Lanka e.g. nearly US$440 million worth of woodfuel is used annually. Women
could play a role in this trade.
Major Groups Agenda 21
Business and Industry
Recognizing that many currently
available energy technologies do not address women's needs, undertake market
analysis and based on this research, develop and market energy technologies
that meet women's needs for safe, convenient, efficient cooking energy, food
processing and labour-saving, as well as their health and educational needs.
Focus on women, including poor
women, as a target group and as participants in technology development,
training, capacity-building, extension, credit and marketing services.
Include a strong social
development component in energy development investment.
Provide opportunities for women
professionals to participate in the energy sector, by improving their
qualifications, examining recruitment and working practices which act as
barriers to their employment, supporting women in the workplace,
andemploying their skills to making appropriate use of them to reach target
markets of women.
innovative approaches, in consultation with employees and/or trade unions,
to help challenge and change negative and stereotypical attitudes and
Provide scholarships and role
models of women professionals, and work with educational institutions to
stimulate girls to choose technical and natural sciences with the view to
following careers in the energy sector.
Extend social responsibility
programs to include micro-financing for projects focused on efficient energy
Workers and Trade Unions
Promote gender equality and
focus in their own organisations through employment of women professionals
and a gender focal point with a clear mandate and support from top
Ensure that international
energy service companies introduce gender-sensitive employment measures
Advocate for the political will
and resources to support integrated and holistic energy policies which take
into account women's needs and employment practices which benefit women and
Encourage and support
networking amongst women members for information exchange and skills
Through training challenge and
change negative and stereotypical attitudes and assumptions and sensitise
members to the need for equal opportunities for women and men and the
positive benefits of women bring to the work place.
Carry out research which
examines recruitment and working practices to identify best practice for
women friendly employment.
Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs)
Promote gender equality and
focus in their own organisations through employment of women professionals
and a gender focal point.
Advocate for the political
will and resources to support integrated and holistic energy policies
which take into account women's needs.
Develop innovative models as
examples of effective approaches to increasing women's access to energy.
Support women’s access to
training with energy technologies.
Advocate for the political
will and resources to support integrated and holistic energy policies
which take into account women's needs. Share their expertise regarding
successful mechanisms for the advancement of women with all stakeholders.
Educate themselves and their
members on sustainable energy issues and concerns relevant to women's
Collaborate with energy and
other organisations in improving access to sustainable energy for both
women and men.
Participate as stakeholders
in energy policy and planning discussions.
Gain technical education to
increase access to women friendly energy technologies.
Participate as stakeholders
in energy service companies/co-operatives.
Children and Youth
Provide education and
capacity-building for children and youth on sustainable energy
technologies and use, including gender perspectives.
Involve children and youth in
local and national planning processes.
Encourage their schools and
education centres to use renewable energy technologies.
Inform their parents about
the options for energy efficiency at home and in the work place.
All schools should offer
equal opportunities to boys and girls to enter the energy sector.
Involve indigenous farmer
organizations (such as farmer-managed irrigation systems in Nepal),
as the strategic organizations in rural societies, in the promotion and
application of clean energy to raise the quality of life of women in the
rural areas, e.g. in planning, capacity building, and energy-related
legislation and policy, land ownership of married women and single
mothers, rather than limiting such ownership to male family members.
Promote involvement of women
in farm planning and management of farms through family-managed farming
systems, and.ensure that women farmers are represented as equal
stakeholders on decision-making structures of farmers' organizations,
related NGOs and local authorities so that productive and reproductive
energy needs are included in rural energy planning.
Promote the development of
labour saving technologies for women’s agricultural activities,
ergonomically designed for women’s bodies.
Ensure that women have access
to information about and training with new energy technologies for use in
the agriculture sector.
Science and Technology
Remove structural barriers to
women researchers recruitment, retention and promotion
Implement research where
women and energy will be primary beneficiaries and advocate for research
funds to be made available.
Promote a gender balance in
scientific decision-making, institutes of higher education and research
Local knowledge of
environmental systems and structures should be systematically considered
and incorporated into energy planning.
In particular, planning and
implementation of large-scale hydro installations should ensure that
indigenous people's participation and rights are respected in resettlement
plans and access to electricity generated, taking into account women's
special needs and concerns.
Practice energy efficiency
and sustainable energy in their own procurement and operations policies.
Build capacity to encourage
an understanding of and commitment to equity in the energy sector and
particularly in addressing delivery to women as primary domestic users
Create urban planning that
responds to women’s needs of mobility and communication needs, in
particular an effective, affordable, accessible and environmentally sound
public transport and communication systems which reduce use of motor
vehicles with associated energy generated pollution.
Introduce building standards
that create living environments with minimal energy inputs for comfort.
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This paper was prepared by Elizabeth Cecelski, Director for Research and
Advocacy of ENERGIA, the International Network on Gender and Energy http://www.energia.org/,
with contributions from Joy Clancy, and with review/inputs from the
Annecke, Energy Research & Development Centre, Capetown, South Africa
Balakrishnan, All-India Women's Conference, New Delhi
Dayal, The Mallika Consultants, India
Farhar, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Colorado
Gautam/Odin Olaya, Peoples' Movement for Empowerment and
Gregory/Lisa Buttner, Winrock International, Washington, DC
Hemmati, UNED Forum, London
Parikh, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India
Betsock Stillman, Strategies for Development, Inc., Hastings-on-Hudson, NY
Wanukomya, UNEP Centre for Energy and Environment, Roskilde, Denmark
Woroniuk, Goss Gilroy Inc, Ottawa, Canada
Wickramasinghe, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
Sovannara, EDP Foundation, Cambodian Women for Peace & Development,
Liyan, Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences, China
Rongfen, Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences, China
Luangsombath, EDP Foundation, Lao Women’s Union, Lao PDR
Shrestha, CRT, Nepal
Surprenant, EDP Foundation, Vietnam
Thi Sam, EDP Foundation, Vietnam Women’s Union, Vietnam
Moeung, Ministry of Health, Cambodia
Choulmany Khamphoui, GRID Centre, Lao PDR
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