This assessment report considers gender equality and women’s empowerment in Bangladesh, and covers a study focused on the USAID-funded Rural Empowerment through Renewable Energy project. This 15-day technological training for rural women in Bangladesh helped to integrate women into the Grameen Shakti (or GS, the leading renewable energy company in the country) renewable energy value chain, and also provided employment to some of these women. The program looked at skills capacity building, womens’ status after program implementation, and lessons learned for future renewable energy programs.
From 2005 to 2010, the project established 35 Grameen Technology Centers that provided 15 days of technical renewable energy training to 2,797 rural women. However, despite the large number of women trained, a follow-up survey found that 86 of the women (3 percent) work for GS and none are entrepreneurs in the renewable energy sector. The 86 women who attended training and work for GS came mostly from poor families (compared to other trainees) and even less had graduated from high school, but are now able to contribute to their household income and communities with their skill set.