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Report on Energy and Gender Issues in ECOWAS Member States Launched at COP21

Report developed in partnership with the Clean Energy Solutions Center lays the groundwork for policy to mainstream gender in energy access

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Clean Energy Solutions Center, an initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial, has announced the release of a new report, Situation Analysis of Energy and Gender Issues: Issues in ECOWAS Member States. The report, supported through the Clean Energy Solutions Center Ask an Expert service and developed in collaboration with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), provides insights on the role of women in energy access and decision-making in the region and laid the groundwork for the development of the ECOWAS Policy for Gender Mainstreaming in Energy Access. The report was announced at the 21st United Nations climate conference (COP21) in Paris, France, during the ECOWAS side event.

While noting that women will play a crucial role in transitioning the region to a cleaner development pathway, the report outlines how women in the region continue to be outside the decision-making sphere and their human rights often compromised when addressing energy access issues. The report also looked at the role of gender and its effect on career opportunities in the energy sector. Too few women are currently working in the sector in the region, particularly at a leadership level, depriving the sector of needed resources, talent, and perspectives. The report highlights how ECOWAS Member States could adopt gender-responsive energy and development strategies to achieve the objectives of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The launch of this report comes at a time when the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is advocating for gender equality as a necessary step to more effectively combat climate change.

The report was developed with the support of the African Development Bank (AfBD), Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC), Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID), and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and in collaboration with ENERGIA and Sustainable Energy Solutions.


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