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About Energia

Who we are

ENERGIA is an international network of like-minded organisations and professionals, active in Africa and Asia, with one common vision:

Women and men have equal and equitable access to and control over sustainable energy services as an essential right to development

To achieve this, we:

  • contribute to energy access for all by scaling up the delivery of energy services through women-led micro and small businesses,
  • advocate for and provide technical support to mainstream gender approaches in energy policies and programs,
  • provide the evidence base for improving energy investment effectiveness through research,
  • raise awareness and enhance knowledge of issues related to gender and energy through networking and knowledge products

Our early days

ENERGIA was established in 1996 by a group of energy experts involved in the energy work in developing countries. At the time, gender issues were just shy of non-existent in energy policies, programs and projects. Linkages between energy and gender (see: Why gender and energy) were hardly discussed at international conferences and actions in the sustainable energy transition were gender-blind, failing to recognize women’s needs and role. ENERGIA set out to change that. By mainstreaming gender in energy policies and institutions and promoting the empowerment of women, ENERGIA contributed to increasing the visibility and credibility of gender issues at international, regional and national level. Through information exchange, capacity building, research and advocacy activities, ENERGIA aimed at strengthening the knowledge resources on gender and energy, raising awareness on the importance of a gender approach to build an equal energy sector.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

With the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ENERGIA found a new platform to continue our policy influencing efforts to incorporate gender in the energy sector. ENERGIA has helped to shape SDGs 3, 5 and 7 on health, gender equality and energy access. Together with strategic partners, ENERGIA succeeded in getting cooking energy and indoor air pollution included as part of the SDG indicators. As the co-chair of the multi-stakeholder SDG 7 Technical Advisory Group convened by UN DESA, ENERGIA directly contributes to the review of progress of SDG 7 and its interlinkages with other SDGs.

Connecting SDG5 and SDG7

While the SDGs recognize separately the importance of SDG 7 on universal energy access and SDG5 on gender equality, ENERGIA recognizes and emphasizes a strong connection between the two. We believe that addressing them together can offer multiple development gains. Women’s economic participation and their ownership of and control over productive assets, speeds up development, helps overcome poverty and reduces inequalities. Achieving gender equality and supporting women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship can be an important additional outcome in the energy sector.

ENERGIA has been working on the intersection of energy access and women’s economic empowerment through its Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) program (see: Women’s Economic Empowerment), aimed at supporting last-mile women energy entrepreneurs. In addition, ENERGIA has produced evidence on the multiple benefits that taking a gender approach and promoting women’s empowerment can have on the energy value chain through our Research Program (see: Research). ENERGIA has used evidence and findings to inform policy and practice in our advocacy, lobbying (see: Advocacy and awareness raising) and gender mainstreaming activities (see: Gender mainstreaming).

The ENERGIA Network

ENERGIA network counts on a number of partners, united in their shared belief that women must be empowered as change agents in the energy sector; that inclusiveness and equality forge stronger and more effective partnerships; that diversity and flexibility contribute to a stable network; that each context calls for its own specific mix of themes and approaches; and, that mutual learning and creativity constitute the core of the network’s innovative capacity.