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The 15th Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD15)

The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-15) provided an important opportunity to disseminate the outputs of ENERGIA and its partners’ efforts to mainstream gender in projects and policies. These dissemination activities strengthened ENERGIA’s position both in Africa and globally, showing how gender-specific impacts could be duplicated through gender-sensitive projects and policies.

Dissemination of the results of ENERGIA’s activities to mainstream gender approaches in energy access projects and policy planning and implementation through side events and publications

To increase knowledge and extend the reach of the gender audits activities carried out in Botswana, Kenya and Senegal, ENERGIA organized a side event during the CSD-15, as part of the TIE-ENERGIA project. In addition, ENERGIA presented a position paper, including the recommended policy actions from the gender audits in Botswana, at the meeting.

To increase our outreach and keep our audience informed, ENERGIA reported the activities conducted during the CSD-15 in various issues of ENERGIA News [ENERGIA News October 2007, ENERGIA News September 2008, Where Energy is Women’s Business].

Influencing key institutions

As a preparation for these international activities, ENERGIA organized national multi-stakeholder consultations in 19 countries (11 in Africa and 8 in Asia) and established relationships with government officials responsible for the CSD process. These preparatory meetings not only raised awareness on the gender and energy nexus, but also laid the foundation for further work on mainstreaming gender within receptive governments. In addition, the collaboration with institutions and key actors at international events allowed ENERGIA, as the formal coordinator of Women as a Major Group, to include the policy actions recommended from the gender audits in the final outcome documents of CSD 15, namely the “Chairman’s Summary Reports”.

“The importance of mainstreaming gender considerations, in particular the role of women in management and decision-making, at all levels, was seen as necessary for implementation of the interlinked issues of energy for sustainable development, industrial development, air pollution/atmosphere and climate change.” (Chair’s Summary, paragraph 8).

Although CSD-15 did not deliver a negotiated Decision Text due to political controversies about sustainable energy and climate change targets, the event represented a window for building and strengthening collaborations, discussing the gender-energy dimension, identifying trends and resources, and planning future activities.