Renewable energy: a catalyst for gender empowerment and rural development - United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
5 July 2023

Beirut time


Renewable energy: a catalyst for gender empowerment and rural development

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  • Notre Dame University, Zouk Mosbeh, Lebanon
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Under the framework of the International Conference on Renewable Energies for Developing countries (REDEC), ESCWA is organizing, in partnership with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Lebanese Association for Energy Saving & for Environment (ALMEE), a workshop on the role of renewable energy in gender empowerment and rural development. The workshop seeks to address the various areas of gender imbalance across the energy sector. It also aims to highlight the important interlinkages between sustainable energy, gender equality, rural development, and women and youth empowerment.

Outcome document

  • Women’s share in the oil and gas, wind, solar PV, and renewable energy sectors as a whole is 22, 21, 32, 40 per cent, respectively.
  • Women’s share in renewable energy STEM jobs, Non-STEM technical jobs, and administrative jobs is 28, 35, and 45 per cent, respectively.
  • Support rural women with the necessary tools to involve them in every phase of the design, implementation, delivery, and monitoring of renewable energy projects by:
    • providing them with the coaching needed
    • improving their financial literacy
    • facilitating their access to finance by easing conditions and procedures
    • building their capacity and raising their awareness on renewable energy applications that are suitable in the rural context
    • promoting the networking of women for the productive use of renewable energy
  • Enable women to play a bigger role in renewable energy and rural development policymaking through capacity building and reverse knowledge and exchange programs to learn more from the experiences and lessons learned in other countries and regions and apply these learnings in the form of data- and evidence-based policymaking.
  • Improve the collection of comprehensive gender disaggregated data covering the gender division of labour, women’s access to resources in relation to men, and the disproportionate benefits of energy for women to effectively include women in the decision making and entrepreneurial aspects of energy access.
  • Foster better collaboration and coordination between the scientific community, the public and private sectors, and civil society to improve communication and build synergies that will catalyze the empowerment of women in rural contexts by using renewable energy as an enabler.
  • Renewable Energy Jobs: A Gender Perspective
  • Impacts on women's social and economic empowerment
  • Barriers to women’s participation in deploying renewables to expand energy access
  • Measures to improve women’s engagement in deploying renewables for energy access
  • Integrating gender in energy access programmes
  • Improving the collection of gender disaggregated data
  • Barriers to entry, retention and advancement (RE, Wind, Solar)
  • Measures to increase women’s participation in the sector
  • The challenges of providing rural energy access
  • What are Public-Private Partnerships?
  • The case study of PPP in Bangladesh
  • Overcoming common barriers in PPPs
  • Gender considerations in rural electrification programmes

Companies with diverse leadership achieve better economic results. Therefore, to properly address the talent shortage, renewable energy companies will only thrive with the best of both women and men. On the other hand, the education and capacity building of rural girls and women are crucial for their empowerment to play a leading role in promoting the productive use of energy through small-scale renewable energy technologies and applications. Equally important, women need to be involved in the policy-making and decision-making processes to ensure that gender is adequately considered and mainstreamed in energy policy.

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