Blog Series contributed by Energy 4 Impact – #2 of 3
After three years advocating for gender mainstreaming in national energy policies and programmes in Senegal, Energy 4 Impact with funding from ENERGIA*, has achieved important milestones:
- The SEforALL national documents, the Action Agenda and the Investment prospectus integrate a comprehensive gender perspective with clear actions and objectives.
- A number of key national energy policies and programmes, such as the National Renewable Energies Action Plan and the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan, also adopted a gender perspective.
- Increased awareness at national and regional levels of the importance of gender mainstreaming within energy policies and programmes through a national campaign promoting the role of women in the energy sector.
Furthermore, the government has officially recognised Energy 4 Impact’s contribution to integrating gender in the SEforALL and other key policy and programme documents in the energy sector.
The SEforALL Investment Prospectus makes reference to three projects proposed by Energy 4 Impact. These projects cover support for the productive uses of energy for women entrepreneurs in newly electrified villages, the establishment of a distribution network of energy products for rural women entrepreneurs and support for the national biogas programme with an emphasis on women empowerment. In addition, the Senegalese Agency for Rural Electrification has integrated Energy 4 Impact’s observations related to gender into their programme.
To achieve this impressive progress, Energy 4 Impact carried out original research and used evidence from their projects to influence policies and strategies. Its approach was to bring together a task force of members from the public and private sector, civil society and academia to jointly inform and push for the integration of specific gender actions and objectives in energy policies and programmes.
It also worked with the Senegalese Agency for Rural Electrification and the World Bank to create indicators to measure the impact of improved electricity access on women’s life as well as the impact of women’s contributions in accelerated access to electricity in rural areas.
To raise awareness at the local, national and international level of the importance of initiatives targeting women economic empowerment in the energy sector, Energy 4 Impact mobilised local ambassadors and celebrities to participate in high profile events.
It must be acknowledged that despite these achievements, few concrete actions have been taken so far by governments to fulfill their commitments, their priority being to meet urgent energy demand and increase the rate of electrification of rural areas. We must continue to work with our partners to ensure that these plans and programmes are implemented.
– Louis Seck, Energy 4 Impact Senegal Country and Project Manager
Added to this are other challenges, such as the lack of coordination between the various actors in charge of energy policies and programmes, as well as socio-cultural and gender-specific barriers. In response to this issue, Energy 4 Impact has formalised a Gender & Energy Cluster aimed at creating news synergies and multi-stakeholder collaborations and will be following up on all past initiatives to ensure gender is taken into account during implementation phases. Senegal’s Ministry of Energy has also committed to developing a strategy and action plan on gender and energy with the technical support of the European Union, Energy 4 Impact and ENERGIA. In addition, the Ministry of Energy of Senegal has sought Energy 4 Impact’s support in the formulation of their new energy sector policy letter for 2017 – 2022.
* ENERGIA supports Energy 4 Impact in implementing SEforALL country action plans through its Gender & Energy Advocacy Programme.