Market-based approaches together with favourable policy can accelerate energy access. And governments have a critical role to play in facilitating sustainable energy markets and achieving universal equitable energy access. However, change does not happen overnight; it needs to be underpinned by a cultural shift at the national and policy level.
As well as providing direct support through our women economic empowerment programmes, we also raise awareness on the socio-economic benefits of integrating women into energy value chains, advocate for gender equality in development strategies, energy policies and energy access projects.
Over the last year we have carried out original research and used evidence from our projects to influence policies and strategies. Our advocacy work in Senegal is showing clear results, with gender being integrated into energy policies and investments in Senegal. Energy 4 Impact’s approach was to bring together a task force of members from the public and private sector, civil society and academia to jointly inform and push for the integration of specific gender actions and objectives in energy policies and programmes. The work forms part of ENERGIA’s Gender and Energy Advocacy Programme, which is supporting the SE4ALL campaign to ensure that governments and donors allocate investments to energy programmes that are gender informed.
As a result, all key documents related to SE4ALL now include specific references to gender, the Ministry of Energy plans to integrate gender in its energy policies and programmes, and the Senegalese Agency for Rural Electrification has included Energy 4 Impact’s observations related to gender into their programme. We continue to work alongside these organisations to ensure gender is taken into account during implementation.