ECOWAS Online Campaign/Competition
#Standtall: A campaign to raise awareness of the under-utilized potential of young women in the Energy Sector
The Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS) Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) is running a global campaign to raise awareness of the under-utilized potential of women in the energy sector and the social constructions that sustains and propagates this situation. The campaign will provide a platform to deliberate on the validity, and subsequent impact, of socio-cultural norms and perceptions that creates classifications of “men’s only” and “women’s appropriate” jobs, in the energy sector.
The campaign is being organized in recognition that women are under-represented in the energy sector, particularly in the technical areas. An obvious reason is that, compared to the number of males graduating from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) departments in higher institutions of learning, there are, in fact, not that many female graduates.
As the technical sector is STEM driven, the number of women eligible for technical roles in the energy sector is automatically smaller compared to their male counterparts. With women not having the in-demand skills required in the sector they are excluded from the technical, and to a large extent, decision-making domains of energy development, thus limiting their capacity to contribute to energy expansion and to benefit from a very lucrative job market.
What can you do about it?
You can be part of this global campaign, dubbed “Standtall”.
The message of Standtall is that women and girls should be proud and confident in your qualities, capacities, abilities, talents and skills. Through this campaign we want women and girls to know that they have something to offer towards ending energy poverty and to the sustainable development of their communities. We are saying “don’t hold back from unleashing your full potential”.
Through this campaign we want to bring men and women together to raise awareness of the issue and strengthen advocacy for change. By creating a platform where discussions take place, views are shared and solutions proffered we hope to address the factors driving inequalities in our society.
How to join the campaign?
Step 1: Join the ECOW-GENetwork by registering here.
Step 2: Post articles, photos or short videos on the subject matter on the ECOW-GENetwork or on twitter, using the tag #Standtall. Distinguished contributors would be selected and displayed in our Hall of fame, as valuable movers of the cause.
Step 3: take part in our online competition.This is how it works: submit an article with an in-depth analysis of the issue of women being under-represented in the energy sector, particularly in the technical areas, and the factors behind this; identify possible ways by which this issue could be addressed; evaluate the likely outcomes from each of the alternatives identified; recommend, and provide justifications for a solution.
The five highest voted articles, based on a summation of votes, i.e. likes and shares, from the listed social media platforms, would be selected for the next phase of evaluation, where the articles would be reviewed by a jury and the best three articles would be awarded with the prize money of $500, $300 and $200 for the first, second and third positions, respectively. Winning articles would be featured in the ECREEE newsletter and gender e-newsletter.
Article titles should be captioned as – #Standtall: and the writer’s chosen topic. The competition is open to young men and women, aged 16 to 32 years old. Entrants should be a resident of an ECOWAS Member State.
The competition will ran from 18 March 2015 – 18 April 2015.