Engaging more Youth & Women in the Energy Transition
We need to have the courage to change
Innovative energy technologies such the solar powered water pump in Lukhosi, Hwange district, is a development that has seen female farmers in the area increase vegetable organic farming- production.
The importance of energy access in combating poverty and meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goal 7, has been part of our organization’s strategy to promote the use of green energy in our communities. Our grassroots movements are focusing on energy justice to reclaim the energy sector with more community and public control to re-distribute benefits, while at the same time build socio-economic resilient communities.
Today, the energy sector is still male-dominated. There is currently a knowledge gap at the intersection of clean energy, climate change mitigation, and gender equality that is an impediment to reaching development and economic goals, including mitigating climate change and fostering the advancement of women. This knowledge gap is particularly acute when looking at the energy value chain connected to small and large-scale renewable energy production.
We have identified initial strategies for closing those gaps. while acknowledging and building on existing research and experience on gender issues around energy at the household and micro to medium-scales.
We work in partnership with renewable energy companies by expanding community engagement, strengthening participation, and fundamentally redistributing power to especially youth and women to promote a transition to more equitable, resilient and sustainable energy systems.
The companies we work with focus on addressing climate change by promoting a transition to renewable energy. These companies differ in their mission and approaches and intentionally link climate and energy action with other forms of social justice activism, including issues of equity, inclusion, exclusion, and justice which are becoming more prominent in climate and energy policy and discourse.
We are also working to develop a community of experts and institutions to advance gender-responsive renewable energy initiatives, youth and women’s advancement in the energy field.
Women and youth are reaching marginalized communities benefiting more villages with Solar Home Systems. Children reported to spend more time studying after dark and villagers managed to replace kerosene, paraffin and firewood which eliminated harmful hazards and improved personal health.
We have improved the energy crisis not only in homes but also enhanced convenience and comfort through solar water pumps which created opportunities for new options for income generation. Other systems are being installed on selected clinics – which results in more people being served and the clinics have greater ability to attend to overnight emergencies.
Our strategies in renewable energy are leveraging advancements in youth and women’s empowerment and gender equality, through – and for, the benefit of climate change and development outcomes. The role of youth and women’s leadership in renewable energy is becoming increasingly valuable as we focus particularly on energy for the poorest and at the same time, we are building the capacity of youth and women to implement gender responsive actions in the climate change arena.