Sustainable Energy: Women as Agents of Change
Today 1.1 billion people globally lack access to electricity and 2.9 billion use solid biomass for cooking and heating. Energy poverty is second highest in developing Asia, with 256 million people or 14% lacking electricity access. In most developing countries, women to a large extent are responsible for household and community energy provision. Available data show that women and girls, globally, spend up to 5 hours a day in time-consuming and physically draining tasks of collecting biomass fuels, which constrains them from accessing decent wage employment, educational opportunities, and livelihood enhancing options. In addition, it limits their options for social and political interaction outside the household. Empirical evidence suggests a high return on investment, financial, social, and environmental outcomes for investing in gender responsive energy solutions.
Women's integration and involvement in the various steps of the energy value chain can expand both in scale and the quality of sustainable energy initiatives and leverage sustainable outcomes. Efforts to promote women's leadership and entrepreneurship in sustainable energy will require identifying context specific opportunities, risks and gender - dissaggregated barriers in access to information, skills, finance, technology and markets.
This Practitioners' Discussion on Sustainable Energy: Women as Agents of Change at the Asia Clean Energy Forum (ACEF) will feature perspectives from last mile energy practitioners, civil society, donors, private sector, and government on how the ecosystem for women's entrepreneurship for sustainable energy can be built and strengthened to address Gender - Energy - Poverty nexus.