A coalition initiated by ENERGIA, Global Women’s Network for the Energy Transition (GWNET) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and supported by the Governments of Iceland, Ecuador, Nepal, Kenya and Sweden launched a Gender and Energy Compact to catalyze action towards gender equality and women’s empowerment to accelerate a just, inclusive and sustainable energy transition. The coalition brings together governments, private sector, academia, civil society, youth, and international organizations—all under the same overall objective: To promote a just and inclusive, and gender responsive energy transition.
The undersigning parties commit to supporting and accelerating action for two main goals. First, that women have equal opportunity to lead, participate in and benefit from a just, sustainable and inclusive energy transition. Second, that women have equal access to and control over sustainable energy products and services. The coalition aims to achieve these through the following five outcomes:
- Energy and time poverty, as well as drudgery of women are eliminated by increasing women’s access to and control over sustainable energy products and services.
- Countries and regions (re)formulate and adopt more inclusive and gender-responsive energy access and transition pathways, strategies and policies.
- Women-owned and -led businesses have increased access to productive resources, such as finance, sustainable energy, entrepreneurial capacity and business development services.
- Career advancement avenues for women working in the energy sector are created: women enjoy decent and productive employment; workplace policies and practices support recruitment and retainment of women, as well as women are equally involved in policy- and decision-making fora and discussions.
- Knowledge, mechanisms, tools, and sex-disaggregated data are more available and of higher-quality. This supports gender-responsive Monitoring and Evaluation processes and policy formulation, as well as gender mainstreaming of private and public sector initiatives, projects, programs and policies.
Reaching these goals and outcomes requires actions at multiple levels from a wide range of stakeholders. In the months to follow, all signatories will submit their own individual Energy Compacts to capture their organization’s specific commitments between now and 2030, to support the achievement of SDG7 on universal access to sustainable energy and SDG5 on gender equality.
Gender equality is a human right. It is also smart economics and the right thing to do. As noted by the High-level Dialogue on Energy Ministerial Thematic Forum Theme Reports on Energy Access and on Enabling SDGs through Inclusive, Just Energy Transitions, accelerating the integration of gender-transformative approaches into all energy access and transition pathways is required to close gender gaps and women’s empowerment.
The Gender and Energy Compact builds upon discussions during the Vienna Energy Forum’s VEF Virtual Series in January 2021, when a Call to Action to Empower Women and Youth to Accelerate the Clean Energy Transition was launched.