Access to Energy is a Key Driver of Gender Equality

On Thursday March 12, ENERGIA, together with the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and the International Center for Research on Women, hosted High Level event: “Energy Access as a Key Driver of Gender Equality “. The event celebrated International Women’s Day and commemorated Beijing +20. The objective of this event was to raise awareness among the global gender community, that access to energy is a critical driver of gender equality, is necessary for achieving global gender equality goals and target, and provides significant opportunities for women’s empowerment. The event was opened by Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and President and Board Chair of the Mary Robinson Foundation, followed by Radha Muthiah, CEO of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and Soma Dutta, Programme Coordinator for ENERGIA.

The event included panel discussions about the evidence that access to energy is critical for the advancement of women and girls and showed how quickly this evidence is being applied and implemented by a wide range of organizations. Participants included government leaders, international NGOs, women’s organizations, donors, multilateral institutions, and energy sector enterprises.

The panel discussion on “Women Powering the Energy Value Chain: Empowerment and Entrepreneurship’ demonstrated that women can and are proving to be critical game changers in the distribution and marketing chain of bottom up energy solutions, making a significant contribution to the global agenda of reaching energy access to all. When women are empowered, the benefits have been shown to have a significant multiplier effect in terms of increased incomes and opportunities for families, communities and economies.

Joy Clancy, Associate Professor, Department of Governance and Technology for Sustainability, University of Twente & Technical Advisor to ENERGIA elaborated on ENERGIA’s position in the panel discussion on Impact: Multiplier Effects of Energy Access for Women and Girls. She also gave the opening remarks of the official NGO CSW Parallel Event that was organised on March 9 by the GACC and ENERGIA on “Health, Livelihood, Gender, and Environmental Benefits of Access to Energy for Girls & Women” where experts discussed the wide variety of health, livelihood, social, economic, and environmental benefits of energy access for women and girls, particularly through clean stoves and fuels.