The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) would be setting a new benchmark, as far as gender equality and energy access goes, through its “ECOWAS Policy for Gender Mainstreaming in Energy Access”. The Policy, which aims to address inequalities that exist in energy production and consumption, would be the first of its kind.
The Policy is being developed in recognition of the fact that although energy challenges affects the lives of men and women disproportionately, with women bearing more of the brunt, women are still not adequately incorporated as part of the solution. This is evident in the fact that the energy sector continues to remain largely male dominated, at the technical and decision making levels.
The “ECOWAS Policy for Gender Mainstreaming in Energy Access” will, thus, commit the governments of the Member States to concrete actions that would address existing barriers that may hinder the equal participation of women and men in expanding energy access in West Africa and contribute to the success of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative.
The Policy is being developed by the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) and the ECOWAS Department of Social Affairs and Gender, with the assistance of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)/Clean Energy Solutions Centre of the United States.