Gender concerns in the Energy sector

The initiative to incorporate gender considerations in activities, the East African Centre of Excellence for Renewable Energy and Efficiency organised a training to enlighten its staff on the common gender stereotypes, gender mainstreaming tools, intersectionality and gender concerns in the energy sector. Schimanek Melissa a seasoned expert with several years of gender mainstreaming experience in development cooperation conducted the interactive sessions. The sessions included role-plays, Q and A, practical exercises, goal setting and conflict resolution.

In the opening remarks, the Technical Expert, EACREEE notified that both men and women can be transformative agents for a just energy transition in the renewable energy sector. However, the majority of board rooms, top leadership and highly technical positions in the energy sector of East Africa are male-dominated.

At the domestic level, most of the population in the region uses biomass for cooking. This greatly exposes women and children to negative effects like respiratory illness resulting from indoor air pollution. There are several opportunities to mainstream gender into the energy sector's recruitment, policy development and capacity-building processes. The Sustainable Development Goals cannot be achieved without the fair participation of both men and women.

The key takeaways, Melissa highlighted are that organisations need to invest in programs that promote gender equality along with creative activities through increasing women’s voices in entities and contributing to policies that support the initiatives of gender, it’s a valuable aspect for all developing countries to have a ground-breaking opportunity to reduce poverty for girls and boys around the world.

The training ended with tangible outcomes where EACREEE staff identified additional areas to reinforce the already existing gender mainstreaming efforts and ensure that the activities of the Centre do not endorse gender stereotypes in their areas of operation, increased awareness of gender biases, and incorporation of mentorship programs to build confidence of women in the energy sector. Furthermore, a gender and inclusion-focal person was nominated