Nairobi, Kenya – 1st November 2019 – The Ministry of Energy has today launched its Gender Policy. This Policy aims to raise the level of gender awareness, change attitudes and inculcate an engendered work culture among staff in the energy sector. This Policy is the first such legislative instrument on the African continent.
Energy is central to sustainable development and poverty reduction efforts. Unfortunately, there are great disparities in energy access between men and women. This Policy demonstrates the Ministry’s commitment to enhancing the principles of equal opportunities for all persons such that no deserving persons are discriminated on the basis of gender.
The Policy seeks to provide a framework for state and non-state actors to mainstream gender in policies, programs and projects in the energy sector. Its development was supported by Practical Action and ENERGIA, The International Network on Gender and Sustainable Energy. It will guide the integration of gender by considering the needs of both men and women in all segments of the Ministry through gender analysis and integration of this needs in energy planning. It is further intended to strengthen institutional capacities for gender mainstreaming as a basis for gender sensitive project formulation, implementation, and impact evaluation of all energy projects in Kenya.
Speaking during the launch of the gender policy, Hon. Simon Kachapin, Chief administrative Secretary of the Ministry of Energy said, “Access to sustainable energy is a key global development goal. The Kenya Vision 2030 identifies energy as one of the infrastructure enablers of its social and economic pillars. It therefore follows that sustainable, affordable and clean energy for all citizens is a key factor in the realization of the Vision 2030.” He added, “the development of this policy is in part fulfilment of the constitutional requirements on gender.”
The Policy is guided by the principles of non-discrimination and recognition of unique energy needs of women, men and the underserved regions, among others. Ms. Phoebe Makungu, Assistant Director, Gender and Development of the Ministry of Energy stated, “We believe that the implementation of this policy will promote gender sensitive energy institutions and enhance inclusivity and participation of women, men and all the marginalized groups in the realization of sustainable energy for all in Kenya. More so, it aims to ensure women do not just participate as beneficiaries, but play an active role as entrepreneurs in the entire energy value chain.”
Regional bodies on the African continent such as the African Union, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) have developed gender policies for the energy sector, but never before has a Government Ministry developed its own policy to guide how it approaches gender and integrates it in all the aspects of its work be it planning, budgeting and roll out of key programmes. Ms. Sheila Oparaocha, the ENERGIA International Coordinator and Programme Manager, stated “This being the first policy of its kind in Africa, is also a model the region can build on to meet the Africa Union Agenda 2063 for inclusive and sustainable development on the continent.”
How to Access the Gender Policy
The National Gender Policy for the Ministry of Energy can be accessed here.