In March 2017, at the UN’s 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61), Practical Action hosted a parallel session exploring Women as Agents of Change in Sustainable Energy Access Value Chains. The session, which heard from Practical Action’s Sudan and East Africa teams, Smiling through Light, Energy Research Institute Sudan and Solar Sister, demonstrated how important investing in women’s potential as entrepreneurs, technicians, policy-makers and thought-leaders is to achieving gender-transformative outcomes and more effective energy access approaches for all. Following from the event, Mariama Kamara, Founder and Director of Smiling Through Light wrote a blog in collaboration with Charlotte Taylor from Practical Action. Titled ‘Universal energy access: what’s gender got to do with it?’, the piece discusses the varied and vital roles of women across the sustainable energy access value chain.
The energy sector is traditionally male-dominated with men’s access to better education, skills training, and finance enabling them to develop businesses and access markets that women have often been excluded from as a result of gendered social norms and women’s unpaid care work. Continue reading “Universal energy access: what’s gender got to do with it? by Mariama Kamara & Charlotte Taylor”