Mainstreaming Gender in SADC Renewable Energy Sector, Phase II
The project will contribute towards the existing policy frameworks which appreciate that achieving gender equality is a prerequisite for human development. These policy frameworks include mainly the Revised SADC Protocol on Gender and Development which has the objective “to provide for the empowerment of women, eliminate discrimination and achieve gender equality and equity through the development and implementation of gender responsive legislation, policies, programmes and projects.”
The proposed contribution is expected to strengthen the capacity of key stakeholders including parliamentarians and Gender Focal Points in the SADC Member States to facilitate gender sensitive policies, programmes and projects in the SADC Renewable Energy Sector. This will be achieved through
- The SADC Gender Mainstreaming toolkit for renewable energies is developed and presented to the SADC Secretariat for final endorsement in line with the SADC Regional Indicative Development Plan 2015 – 2020.
- 32 SADC Parliamentarians and 40 SADC Gender and Energy Focal Persons are trained (Training of Trainers to ensure mainstreaming of gender equality in the formulation, implementation and reporting of renewable energy programmes and projects.
- The SARDC database on gender and renewable energies initiatives in the SADC Region, genre.sardc.net, is improved and regularly updated with effective practices captured, at least 3 policy briefs / fact sheets, 10 articles.
- Through a regional conference on gender and renewable energies and evidenced based input, 10 stories of success and 2 videos, is provided into the multidisciplinary stakeholder dialogue on gender and renewable energies in the SADC Region.
The main target groups are the 160 staff members of the SADC Secretariat, the SADC Gender Unit, the SADC Energy Division and SADC subsidiary organisations. Another target group are 32 SADC Parliamentarians and 40 Gender ‘and Energy Focal Point, representing each SADC Member State and relevant line ministries, capacitated to assess meaningful resource allocation for attainment of gender equality in the renewable energy sector. 48 representatives of women’s business groups, private sector apex business organisations and energy regulators (comprising of one per Member State) will benefit from sensitization of the benefits of mainstreaming gender in the RE sector and have access to information to inform areas within which they can invest. 80 research and academic institutions (three per Member State) and media institutions (two per each Member State) will benefit through access to information for research and publications.
The online data base will be accessible to the public in the SADC Region and it is expected that at least 10 percent of the 306 million citizens who have access to internet will be able to access the knowledge products.
The implementing agency is the Southern African Research and Development Centre (SARDC) having extensive knowledge and experience of the SADC regional issues. Based on a Memorandum of Understanding SARDC provides knowledge and information support to the SADC.
Key activities will entail working closely with SADC Member States, SADC Secretariat, the SADC Energy Division and Gender Unit in building their knowledge and technical expertise and pushing for the inclusion of gender equality considerations in the RE sector:
- To draft inputs in a legislative agenda for gender mainstreaming in the RE Sector for effective implementation of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development
- To increase the capacity of a critical mass of gender and energy stakeholders network to ensure meaningful gender mainstreaming in the policies and programs that promote gender equality in the RE sector
- To update and maintain the database (Online) on the gender and renewable energies’ initiatives by SADC Member States and
- To share experience of gender and renewable energies’ initiatives in SADC Member States.
The SADC region faces specific challenges in the area of energy development and gender equality. Of the approximately 306 million people living in SADC only 129 million have access to electricity. Despite constituting more than half the population of most SADC Member States women are disproportionately affected by the challenges associated with access to modern sources of energy compared to men. Access to energy is gendered, with women in most countries in the region experiencing energy poverty differently and more severely than men. Women and girls are, to a large extent, responsible for household and community activities, including energy provision in most SADC countries.
The SADC Region has made the political decision and commitment to mainstream gender and promote the empowerment of women in policies and development initiatives. However, what remains a challenge is the transition from political will to concrete actions due to a number of factors which include lack of capacity or enforceable legislation to mainstreaming gender.
The proposed contribution will therefore aim to encourage the SADC and the SADC Member States to create conditions that promote gender mainstreaming in the renewable energy sector. Promoting gender mainstreaming in renewable energies will not only contribute to advance human development, to achieve the SDGs but also to ensure that women are afforded opportunities to enjoy their rights which are also human rights.