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Policy brief: global progress of SDG 7 energy and gender

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ENERGIA, World Bank Group/ESMAP, UN Women
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Status of gender and energy and progress towards achieving SDGs
• Over one billion people in the world lack access to electricity, and close to 3 billion lack access to clean cooking. Women bear the greatest burden of this energy poverty – it is their unpaid time and labour that is expended to gather biomass fuels for cooking, collect water, or manually process grains and other foods. Household air pollution, linked to burning fuels such as wood, animal waste and charcoal, is responsible for about 2.8 million deaths every year, mostly among women and children.
• Greater access to energy services can improve women’s health and wellbeing, free up their time, and enable their economic empowerment, thereby supporting the achievement of SDG 5.
• While some countries and regions are on track to achieve electricity for all, under current policies and trends, 2.3 billion people will still lack access to clean cooking facilities in 2030. In recent years, going beyond their traditional role as “users” and “beneficiaries,” women are playing a role in expanding energy access—thereby becoming part of the solution. A number of actors have started working on the intersection of gender, energy and sustainable development, and in advancing gender equality, social inclusion, and women’s empowerment in the energy sector