Sustainable energy is the golden thread that connects economic growth, increased social equity and an environment that allows the world to thrive. It is indispensable for reaching the Sustainable Development Goals. Gender equality has been demonstrated to be an indispensable factor in reaching sustainability. Gender diversity drives innovation, opens new pathways for technology deployment, brings fresh perspectives to development of societies and attracts and retains a richer pool of talent.
It is a well-known fact that the energy sector continues to be male-dominated. Since the energy sector is largely perceived as technical, at the early outset in education curricula energy subjects attract more interest from boys and young men than from girls and women. The absence of female role models further contributes to gender imbalance in related energy curricula and the energy sector as a whole.
Furthermore, in developing countries, men and women experience energy poverty to different degrees and in different ways. In many developing countries, women have a key role in providing and using energy in the household and the community. As a consequence, these often unsustainable energy sources naturally have a greater negative health impact on women. Despite being energy users, women are under-represented in the political decision making process as well as in the entrepreneurial and industrial energy sectors.
This side event will identify factors fostering gender balance in the energy sector which is fundamental to a timely attainment of SDG 7 on sustainable energy. It will also contribute to HLP 1: The role of Energy in the Post 2015 Development Agenda and show that women are crucial actors for reaching SDG 7 while advancing SDG 5 on gender equality and women’s empowerment.
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