Monday, April 4, 2011

Role of Women in Clean Energy

Monday, April 4, 2011
Many institutions are focusing their efforts on women – particularly in Africa – as a driving force behind renewable energy.

In Gambia and Senegal, women have received training to use Mayon Turbo and Rocket stoves as part of a RE program geared specifically toward women. Barefoot College also began training grandmothers in developing countries to help further self-sufficiency and sustainability. Local environmentalists and Indian activist Bunker Roy has a training program for grandmothers in 23 African countries including Benin, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Uganda, just to name a few.

Another organization geared toward female involvement in the RE sector is Women for Green Growth who have taught women to dry cocoa beans via solar energy and biogas in cocoa rich areas like Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Ghana, and Nigeria.

And on April 6, top female leaders will gather in Abu Dhabi to discuss “The Role of Women in the Clean Energy Revolution” during the Clean Energy, Education, and Empowerment (C3E) Initiative. Masdar Institute has made this a priority as the world’s first graduate university focused on research and development of sustainable science and technology. Currently 37% of the academic facility’s student body is comprised of females.

A paper released by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, “The Role of Women in Sustainable Energy,” said: “Women are more and more adopting non-traditional work roles in the energy sector, due to the rising number of female-headed households globally and to the increasing access by women to science and technology education.” Although this paper was released in 2000, the premise is even more true 11 years later. In addition, many microfinancing systems have been incorporated into the sector specifically aimed at granting women loans.

The UNDP said that women make up over 50% of the global population, but constitute less than 20% of the global workforce.

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