ECOWAS policy for gender mainstreaming in energy access

Countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), represented by the Ministries of Energy, validated on 4-5 June 2015 in Dakar, Senegal, the regional Policy to mainstream gender in all energy programmes, projects and initiatives implemented in the Member States, including large scale energy infrastructure projects and investments.

Described as “revolutionary” by the ECOWAS Commissioner for Energy, the goal of the ECOWAS Policy for Gender Mainstreaming in Energy Access is to address existing barriers that may hinder the equal participation of women and men in expanding energy access in West Africa and, by extension, the success of Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative and the ECOWAS Regional Policies on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.

Specifically, the Policy aims at achieving widespread understanding of energy and gender considerations at all level of society; ensuring that all energy interventions are gender-inclusive and directed towards addressing inequalities and energy poverty; increasing women’s public sector participation in energy-related technical fields and decision-making positions; and ensuring that women and men have equal opportunities to enter and succeed in energy-related fields in the private sector.

Having been validated by the technical experts, the Policy will be presented to the responsible ECOWAS Ministers for adoption. It is envisaged that the Policy will be adopted in the fourth quarter of 2015