“ (Em)Powering Women – An energy challenge that can boost economic growth”

February 20, 2015 | By
Vera Monteiro

Energy, throughout history, symbolizes the political, economic andgenpic2-cultural power not only in the countries but in the communities as well as at the individual level.

In the current context, is one of the main resources for the development and quality of life of the people, not only in urban areas but also in rural areas, characterized as a factor of exclusion or inclusion, empowerment and social marginalization.

Access to energy resources is still a central and strategic theme in the debate on development and remains a major challenge for many governments as a starting point for improving the quality of life and dignity of its citizens. Indeed, nowadays that the attention of governments is more weighted towards other global issues such as security of financial markets, economic growth, climate change, the problematics of energy, the access to it, availability and distribution remains a major issue in the struggle against poverty, food security and gender equality.

Currently, the energy issue, particularly with respect to renewable energies, is relaunched on the international agenda to combat poverty because of new scenarios with which the world faces, such as rising food prices, the continuing economic downturn, the financial crisis, among other issues. The energy, even with all the technological innovation in other sectors remains the main source of food production in housing and access to other natural resources that are essential to people’s livelihood.

It is necessary to draw the attention of the international community and to emphasize the need and importance of energy access to energy poverty deceleration mechanisms and other important matters. In this context, the integration of gender in access to energy is essential for the success and achievement of results of development programs in urban areas and especially in rural areas.

Globally, rural women, the majority, as major producers of food and the labor force that make up the economic structure of the local communities. However, they have very limited access, use and control of natural resources and often relatively restricted to man, both generally in society and in the family plan in which they are engage in.

To reverse this scenario the focus shall be on developing and strengthening the capacity and awareness of participatory management of women to energy resources, with the aim of promoting equality between women and men and their participation in the planning processes, development and management of productive resources; compilation of materials available for capacity building concerning energy promoted among women and practical guidelines for the introduction of procedures that take into account gender concerns in access to energy.

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