The ECOWAS Programme on Gender Mainstreaming in Energy Access (ECOW-GEN), since its establishment in 2013, has worked to steer ECOWAS Member States towards the direction of mainstreaming gender in policy formulation, legislative drafting, energy project and programme design and implementation, with the intention to promote equality in energy development through equal access to resources and equal contribution to the decision-making processes that shape and influence energy expansion in West Africa. With the aim to institutionalize the interventions being implemented through ECOW-GEN, the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) and the ECOWAS Department of Social Affairs and Gender formulated this Policy for Gender Mainstreaming in Energy Access that commits the Member States to concrete actions that eliminate every form of inequality in energy production and consumption in the ECOWAS region.
The purpose of the ECOWAS Policy for Gender Mainstreaming in Energy Access is to provide policy-makers with instrumental and human rights based indicators and rigorous arguments to align energy interventions with principles of gender equality. Moreover, the policy aims to use a gender mainstreaming framework as a means for Energy Ministries to achieve energy access goals in a way that leverages the role of women as energy users, community members, business owners, and policymakers. The policy aims at ensuring universal energy access in the ECOWAS Region by meeting specific targets by 2030 that are set forth in the Policy Implementation Plan.