The two organising partners, EnDev and AVSI presented practical field examples on the impact on women’s empowerment and job creation through energy access projects at this ‘Capacity for Change’ (C4C) lunch networking event, which was hosted by the GIZ Brussels office.
Cookstoves projects in Mozambique and Tanzania, electrification of health centers in Liberia and solar projects in Tanzania were highlighted, followed by a panel discussion with gender experts and policy makers.
EnDev’s co-director, Marcel Raats, highlighted the importance – also within the EnDev program – to look beyond the energy access impacts. ‘’We need to better nurture our human capital, especially women, investing in the potential that is out there, throughout the value chain’’, Raats stated. Gender expert, Ana Victoria Rojas, stressed the need for training on agency to foster empowerment.
‘’Providing access alone is not enough. You need to provide tools to empower women within the family to reach transformative change’’, Rojas stated. Georgios Pantoulis of the energy department of the European Commission stressed the need for effective business models. ’’In the various energy access programs we need to make sure that women are able to actively access business models, which will then also have a positive impact on women empowerment’’, Pantoulis stated.
Francesca Oliva, energy expert at AVSI, mentioned the importance of clear indicators. ‘’More time and money needs to be invested in developing clear indicators that can be used to monitor gender impacts’’, she stated. More than 50 participants from, mainly from Brussels based organisations joined the lively discussion.