Guidelines on Renewable Energy Technologies for Women in Rural and Informal Urban Areas

Renewable energy technologies are increasingly been seen as a solution to energy-related problems worldwide, including mitigation of climate change through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the search for energy security at national levels, and efforts to achieve locally appropriate and sustainable development among disadvantaged communities. These Guidelines represent a collaborative effort to support women’s understanding of the different technologies available to them and provide hands-on guidance for assessing available renewable energy technologies to help them make informed decisions when choosing the most appropriate technologies for their own situations.

The research, compilation and preparation of these Guidelines were jointly organized and managed by ENERGIA, the International Network on Gender and Sustainable Energy, and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). ENERGIA is an international network on gender and sustainable energy with a direct presence in 22 countries in Africa and Asia. ENERGIA has been working in the energy sector since 1996 and focuses on ways in which increased access to energy can improve the lives and livelihoods of women and men in developing countries, with a special emphasis on rural energy access. ENERGIA applies gender analysis to projects, programmes and policies to ensure that women’s energy needs, roles, responsibilities and interests are not overlooked.

IUCN’s mission is to influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable. The aim of IUCN’s Energy, Ecosystems and Livelihoods Initiative is to accelerate transitions to energy systems which are ecologically sustainable, socially equitable and economically viable. Since 1998 IUCN has had a gender equity and equality policy in place through which it recognizes that gender is an essential component of the sustainable use, management and conservation of natural resources. IUCN is committed to mainstreaming gender in its work, and in particular recognizes the importance of gender equity issues associated with its energy programme. In 2008, IUCN entered into a collaborative agreement with ENERIGA to address the complex linkages between energy, gender and environmental issues.

It is our hope that these Guidelines will provide useful information for women’s groups, governments and energy planners to assist them to implement in a gender responsive manner renewable energy initiatives that are appropriate to local contexts and address the energy needs of women and men in rural and informal urban areas.

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