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Sustainable Energy and Gender Empowerment, within the framework of the "Tenth International Forum on Energy for Sustainable Development"

Bangkok, Thailand
Event Type: 

The United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September 2015, along with the Paris climate conference (COP21) in December 2015, with the aim to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all with specific targets to be achieved by 2030. SDG5 on gender equality and SDG7 are two deeply entwined components, in addition to gender-sensitive targets in other goals, providing for stronger cross-sectoral and integrated efforts. Improving gender equality and social inclusion is essential to fully realize the development impact of many energy programs. Moreover, mitigating the effects of climate change on the poor, especially the rural communities, should be addressed within the socio-economic and environmental sustainability concerns.

Within this context, the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) are implementing the “Regional Initiative for Promoting Small-Scale Renewable Energy Applications in rural areas of the Arab region (REGEND)”.  The project REGEND aims to improve the livelihood, economic benefits, social inclusion and gender equality of Arab rural communities particularly marginalized groups, by addressing energy poverty, water scarcity and vulnerability to climate change and other natural resources challenges in three targeted countries, namely Jordan, Lebanon and Tunisia. Gender equality and entrepreneurship constitute an integral part of REGEND’s activities and expected outputs and are considered a cross-cutting priority along the various phases of its implementation.
In this respect, ESCWA and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)  in partnership with the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), UN Women, the International Network on Gender and Sustainable Energy (ENERGIA), the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) and UN Environment are organizing a Workshop on “Sustainable Energy and Gender Empowerment” to be held on 8 October 2019 within the framework of the Tenth International Forum on Energy for Sustainable Development (7-8 October 2019) in Bangkok, Thailand.
The workshop intends to highlight the importance of enhancing gender equality and diversifying the involvement of women across the sustainable energy value chain based on a human right based approach. It will feature presentations and experience-sharing discussion panels that will cover (a) gender equality, (b) entrepreneurial development, and (c) the role and opportunities that sustainable energy offers with focus on the rural context and related productive activities. Discussions will include topics such as the potential of synergies between key sectors. The outcomes of the workshop will serve as the basis for suggesting a gender mainstreaming and human rights strategy and action plans to support policy makers, government and local institutions in operationalizing a gender equality and human rights approach to accelerate progress towards sustainable energy.

On the sidelines of this forum, a Steering Committee meeting of the REGEND project will take place on the 7th of October 2019. The purpose of  the meeting is to coordinate with the government officials on activities undertaken at the three pilot countries – Jordan, Tunisia and Lebanon and discuss areas of collaboration and way forward.