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Mainstreaming gender for a climate resilient energy system in West Africa

ECOWAS women and energy
This technical assistance advances the following Sustainable Development Goals: 

Gender equality

Goal: Gender equality
Goal5
Gender equality

Affordable and clean energy

Goal7
Affordable and clean energy

Reduced inequalities

Goal 10: Reduced inequalities
Goal10
Reduced inequalities

Climate action

Goal 13: Climate action
Goal13
Climate action

This Technology Transfer Advances

Context

Energy poverty is high in West Africa: over half of the population does not have access to electricity. While there has been an increase in capacity building in this sector, women, to a large extent, continue to be exempted from these interventions and are generally underrepresented in overall climate change decision-making and planning at all levels. In order to make greater strides, women need to be recognzied as active agents of change, possessing unique knowledge and skills that should be tapped in the development of energy and environmental resilience in the region.

Requested Assistance

To support building a gender-responsive, climate resilient energy sector, 13 West African nations asked the CTCN to provide technology and capacity building assistance in four strategic areas:

  • Review of energy relevant policies
  • Assist countries in undertaking gender audits in the energy sector and provide capacity building
  • Support awareness and knowledge exchange; Enable data collection as well as the publication of scientific articles about gender and climate change in West Africa in peer-reviewed journals
  • Investment promotion and business development: Develop gender-responsive project screening tools and mitigation/adaptation demonstration projects which can access climate finance

Relevant Technologies and Approaches

Expected Benefits

  • Gender and climate resilience is mainstreamed in energy-related policies, action plans, strategies, programs and projects at the national level and Member States tailor their development agendas to reflect gender differences and the needs of the different gender groups.
  • Awareness is raised, and rural and urban populations educated and knowledgeable on gender and climate change issues, at the community and institutional level.
  • The technical capacities and skills of university-level young women and men are strengthened to engage actively in the regional and global energy, climate change and gender discourse as well as in the development of environmentally-friendly energy technologies.
  • Women (groups, associations and networks) gain valuable skills to engage actively in decision making processes by negotiating effectively with governments and organizations to have their voice heard, and their needs incorporated, in energy development agendas and climate change strategies.
  • Through south-south cooperation involving knowledge and technology transfer women will be impacted with skills to innovate and champion new developments in the energy sector.
  • The region is better positioned to harness and utilize both its male and female human capital to address issues of climate change and energy access.
  • ECOWAS countries, increasingly, have the human and financial capacity to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the sustainable energy for all (SE4ALL) objectives.

In the long term, the activities of the project aim to result in behavioral changes and adequate deployment of climate/gender smart investments in the energy sector directed at increasing the region’s readiness, response and recovery rate to climate change impacts.

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