Advocacy is an approach that aims at influencing policy, decision-makers, local, national and international institutional structures, stakeholders, but also people, communities and civil society organisations, in order to achieve a specific change or goal, within political, economic and social systems.
To achieve universal energy access and end any form of inequality in the energy sector, so that both women and men are able to access, have control over and benefit from modern energy services, governments must develop and adopt gender-aware policies, to be translated into concrete programs and projects. This is also true for other key institutions, such as energy facilities. Unfortunately, the majority of energy policies, programs, and projects do not recognize the differences between men’s and women’s energy needs, assuming that energy interventions automatically benefit both men and women equally. Gender-blind approaches hinder women’s empowerment, reinforcing gender norms and stereotypes on women’s roles. Thus, advocacy in the gender and energy process aims to influence governments, donors and other key actors to integrate these gender-sensitive and gender-responsive approaches in the energy policies, programs and projects.
ENERGIA’s advocacy activities
ENERGIA’s advocacy and lobbying activities contribute to foster gender equality in the energy sector and ensure that women’s voices are heard in the energy policy discussions and intergovernmental negotiations. We envision a world where people’s household, community and workplace energy needs are met through sustainable, inclusive and equal energy systems. We target policy-, market- and institutional agencies, including governments, multilateral organisations, donors, financial institutions, utilities and energy companies to promote equal and inclusive opportunities and create an environment where women can thrive.
Over the years, ENERGIA has identified critical barriers that slow down progress towards achieving universal energy access while reducing the gender gap. These include limited understanding of gender dynamics in the energy sector, limited evidence on linkages between energy interventions and gender-equitable outcomes, and a lack of sex-disaggregated data, essential for meaningful implementation and monitoring. Through our Women’s Economic Empowerment Program and Research Program we showcase the benefits of taking a gender approach in energy programs and we provide evidence for energy policy and practice.
ENERGIA adopts different advocacy strategies, including:
- Generate and analyse evidence (both academic and on-the-ground) on the links between gender, energy and poverty and translate this evidence into recommendations for energy policy and practice;
- Global and national campaigns, to raise awareness on specific issues related to gender and energy. Specifically, raise awareness on the economic and social impact and benefits of including and promoting women in the energy value chain, as suppliers, users and decision-makers;
- Build partnerships, convene meetings or events, strengthen strategic partnerships with like-minded networks in order to influence key stakeholders;
- Influence policy and decision makers, through evidence building, policy recommendations, communications products including case studies, policy briefs, publications, and research papers;
- Gender mainstreaming in energy institutions policies, projects and programs;
- Monitoring and follow-up activities to ensure policy is put into practice.