This Blueprint Guide serves as a roadmap for policymakers at the national and regional level to develop gender inclusive energy policies and programs. It also aims to help advance the objectives of development partners and other stakeholders that want to identify gender entry points and implementation strategies. The blueprint focuses on policy and regulation design features that incorporate gender mainstreaming, helping to ensure that a gender diverse and robust infrastructure operations and management workforce is created to support project development; that energy policies “do no harm” to women and disadvantaged groups; that investment flows are accessible to women and men; and that consultations and community engagement are transparent and open to all. Achieving the goal of gender equality is therefore premised on the fundamental integration of women and gender issues within all structures, institutions, policies, procedures, practice, programs and projects of government and the entire stakeholders in the energy sector.
This Guide was developed to help support the policy making process in countries interested in pursuing a more gender inclusive energy sector. It is a blueprint primarily based on the experience gained in the development of the first-ever policy on gender mainstreaming for energy access that was adopted in 2017 by Heads of State in ECOWAS Member States. It distills key elements from the ECOWAS process and methodology used by the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) in driving the development and adoption of the policy. Governments may seek to replicate or adapt the ECOWAS process in the context of their own countries and/or regions.