Read the strategy here.
Relevance of gender in the policy area
Energy is a driver of economic development, underpinning all forms of economic activity. It is also a significant aspect of everyday life through its domestic uses and its role in modern communications, transport and technology. Furthermore, energy production and use is closely connected with climate change.
Energy plays an essential role in both women’s and men’s lives. However, it has been recently acknowledged that energy policy is not gender neutral. Achieving gender equality in the field of energy can be linked with human rights and social, environmental and economic development.
From a gender and human rights perspective, women and men have different energy needs.
According to the OECD, energy availability trends affect women and men differently. For instance, blackouts that occur during meal preparation can mean more work for women. Certain aspects of access to energy (e.g. cost and physical distribution) may also affect women and men differently. European Commission research suggests that more women than men may be subject to energy poverty. Energy poverty, also known as fuel poverty, is an expression used to describe a situation where “a household is unable to afford the most basic levels of energy for adequate heating, cooking, lighting and use of appliances in the home”. Elderly women are at higher risk of fuel poverty due to their higher life expectancy and lower pensions. This risk is also shared by lone female-headed households that have lower incomes. Member States have both recognised and chosen to address the issues of vulnerable consumers and energy poverty. A strong subsidiarity approach takes account of national differences, but there is a danger of Member States not addressing energy affordability and additional consumer protection, or access to markets for vulnerable consumers. There is also a risk of actions in favour of vulnerable consumers not contributing to measures to address energy poverty.
According to the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), women tend to be more sustainable consumers than men:
- they are more likely to buy eco-labelled products.
- they pay more attention to green procurement.
- they attach more importance to energy-efficient transport and fuels.
- they are more willing to change their behaviours to achieve sustainability goals, including energy efficiency.
For economic growth, the green economy is a key economic factor underpinning national and EU development. Investments in green jobs in the energy efficiency and renewable energy sectors are expected to bring about investments of over €2 billion by 2020. According to Greenpeace and the European Renewable Energy Council, innovation in renewable energy production will contribute to 2.7 million more jobs in the sector over the next 20 years. However, this enormous potential growth is at risk due to the lack of suitable specialists in the field. Increasing women’s participation in the green labour market may help to address the workforce shortage. In 2010, only 22.1% of those employed in the energy sector were women.
Yet this potential is blocked by persistent gender inequalities. First of all, women are often employed in low-qualified and non-technical jobs in the energy sector. This may be related to the fact that fewer women than men undertake studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Moreover, the average digital literacy of women is lower than that of men. Women’s participation in the energy labour market is also discouraged by gender stereotypes, which portray the energy sector as a technical working environment that is unsuitable for women.
Women are also less likely to hold decision-making positions in the energy sector. The absence of women in energy policy and strategy planning decreases the likelihood that women’s interests and needs will be taken into account.
The energy sector is influenced by a set of persistent gender inequalities, which can be summarised as follows:
- gender gaps in energy access.
- gender gaps in the energy labour market.
- gender gaps in energy-related education, namely segregation of women and men students across fields of study.
- gender gaps in decision-making.
Gender inequalities in the policy area - Main issues
Women and energy poverty
Lone female-headed households, and lone women and older women are all at a higher risk of fuel poverty than men.
Energy poverty is a problem that is on the rise in industrialised countries. When there is an increase in oil and gas prices there is a rise in energy costs, and this particularly affects poor households. Over the past decades, the proportion of lone-parent households has increased in the EU. Most of these lone-parent households are headed by mothers. Lone parents are considered to be a group significantly at risk of living in poverty.
The most recent Guidance Document on Vulnerable Consumers recognises that retirement and unemployment have an impact on the time spent at home. This affects heating or air conditioning costs. Older women have been identified as being at greater risk of energy poverty due to lower pensions. This guidance document also draws attention to the higher risk of fuel poverty among people who live alone in large homes, as heating/air conditioning costs will be high. These circumstances tend to apply to older people who often stay in the family home after their children have left. Women are also disproportionally affected due to their higher life expectancy.
The assumption that older women are more exposed to energy poverty can be supported by the figures for excess winter mortality (EWM). For instance, at the end of 2013 the UK Office for National Statistics published a Statistical Bulletin on EWM, which points out that women constitute 58% of the total number of excess winter deaths. The greatest number of excess winter deaths – for all age groups and both sexes – is found among women aged 85 and over. It should be borne in mind that older women outnumber older men two to one, because women have a higher life expectancy. In addition, compared to the previous period, the greatest increase in EWM was seen in women under 65 (where the EWM index increased from 8.2% in 2011/2012 to 12.4% in 2012/2013).
Energy poverty is not confined to the elderly, and elderly women in particular. Nearly 11% of the EU’s population are not able to adequately heat their homes at an affordable cost. This situation is estimated to affect around 54 million people in Europe (figures for 2012). The scale of the problem can be attributed to rising energy prices, low income and energy-inefficient homes, and is particularly prevalent in central, eastern and southern Europe.
Gender gaps in the energy labour market
In Europe, the energy sector workforce is composed mainly of men (77.9%) with women representing only 22.1%. The same trend seems to apply to the renewable energies sector, where women are also underrepresented. In the renewable energy sector, women represent less than 30% of positions in manufacturing (e.g. fuel for vehicles, pollution-control equipment), construction (e.g. retrofitting buildings) and energy production. The more skilled jobs in these areas – metal workers, insulation specialists, plumbers and pipe fitters, electricians, heating and cooling experts – are mostly male-dominated. Other sectors, such as engineering and financial and business services (where the better-paid jobs are concentrated), are also dominated by men. When working in the renewable energy sector, women are generally employed in lower-skilled jobs, primarily in administration and communication.
- lack of appropriate skills due to the gender gaps in energy-related education.
- the perception of the energy sector as a male domain and persisting gender stereotypes.
- the difficulty of achieving a work–family life balance which discourages women from taking on jobs that involve unpredictable work schedule or emergency travel.
- insufficient career promotion opportunities and mentoring programmes for women.
Gender gaps in energy-related education
According to 2014 Eurostat data, more women (42.3%) than men (33.6%) complete tertiary education. Yet women are more present in the humanities than in scientific fields. Eurostat data for 2012 show that the number of women graduating in science and technology per 1,000 inhabitants is considerably less than the number of men: 11% of women compared to 22% of men, aged 22 – 29. The increase in the percentages of tertiary graduates in science and technology over the 2010 – 2012 period is slightly higher for men at +2.9 percentage points) than for women, at +1.2 percentage points. At the same time, the energy sector requires more workers with scientific knowledge and specialist expertise.
There is a complex set of reasons for this situation:
- Some subjects of study and fields of work are established as either ‘feminine’ or ‘masculine’, for example the energy field is seen as a male domain.
- There is an absence of women scientist/engineer role models and a lack of science-oriented guidance and mentoring programmes during upper-secondary education.
- The approach of teaching science in schools is outdated and unattractive to the interests of students taking the science curriculum.
Gender gaps in decision-making
The number of women who hold management positions in the energy sector is very low. According to a study by EIGE, research carried out in 2010 in Germany, Spain and Sweden showed that 64% of the 295 energy companies surveyed had no women at all on boards or management groups. Also, only 5% of the companies had women in 40% or more of their posts. The situation is hardly better in the renewable energy sector. For example, in Germany women represent only 8% of board members in associations promoting renewable energy. Figures tend to be slightly better in the oil industry, where there has been an increase of 3 percentage points in women’s participation in leadership positions in the period 2000 – 2007, from 9% in 2000 to 12% in 2007.
The situation is much the same in the public sector. According to the 2012 EIGE study, 17.3% of women in the energy sector are employed in high-level positions, compared to 82.7% of men. The situation is slightly better in the Nordic countries than in Mediterranean countries. However, in both Nordic and Mediterranean countries, women leaders are absent in the technological areas of the energy sector. For instance, in Sweden, women and men participate equally in the decision-making process in ministries related to energy, yet women are less well represented in the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and the Swedish Nuclear Power Inspectorate.
Gender equality policy objectives at EU and international level
The main objective of the European Commission in the energy sector is increasing women’s participation in the knowledge economy, including the green economy. The Commission has set out a specific framework to tackle problems related to scientific skills and the low participation of women in the green labour market. This can be summarised as follows:
E-skills for the 21st century: Fostering competitiveness, growth and jobs
The framework specifies that there is a need to promote specific actions addressing women in order to increase their participation in ICT and STEM fields. These actions include exchanging information and good practices on Member State initiatives for the promotion of science, maths and ICT role models, and career profiles and perspectives.
Agenda for modernising higher education systems
Increasing women’s participation in higher technical and scientific education is another EU objective. This Agenda acknowledges that tackling stereotyping and removing barriers women still face in reaching the highest levels in postgraduate education and research can liberate untapped talent. The Agenda envisages that one of the key polices to be addressed by Member States is implementing the recommendations of the Helsinki Group on women in science.
The Seventh Framework Programme’s (FP7) cooperation work programme on energy
This demonstrates the European Commission’s commitment to enhance scientific excellence through mainstreaming gender equality. It continues the gender mainstreaming goals already drawn up for FP6 and ensures that the gender dimension is addressed in European research. This includes promoting the participation of women scientists in framework programme activities, with a target of 40%.
Council of the European Union
In the 2012 Council Conclusions Gender equality and the environment: Enhanced decision-making, qualifications and competitiveness in the field of climate change mitigation policy in the EU, the Council calls on the Member States and the Commission to:
- take active and specific measures aimed at achieving a balanced representation of women and men in decision-making in climate change mitigation at all levels, including the EU level.
- support women in science and technology at national and European level.
- cut out gender stereotypes and promote gender equality at all levels of education and training, as well as in working life.
- integrate the principle of gender mainstreaming into all relevant legislation, policy measures and instruments related to climate change mitigation.
Furthermore, it calls on the Commission to:
- provide guidance about mainstreaming gender in policy areas.
- consider focusing on the issue of women and climate change in a future report.
- take action, with the participation of civil society, to raise awareness of the gender dimension of climate change policy.
In 2012, the European Parliament issued a resolution on women and climate change, which includes references to the energy policy sector on the mitigation of climate change. It calls on the European Commission to:
- encourage women to pursue technical and scientific training and careers in the environmental and energy technology sectors. The need for expertise in this area will guarantee women secure jobs with a stable future, and ensure greater awareness of women’s needs when it comes to establishing climate change policies.
- set up a toolkit to encourage inclusive decision-making.
- launch awareness-raising campaigns at the grassroots level, focusing on everyday consumer spending choices related to household and childcare activities.
Furthermore, it stresses the important role played by women in implementing mitigation measures in daily life, e.g. through energy and water-saving practices, recycling measures and the use of eco-friendly and organic products. Women are still seen as the primary managers of these resources in the home.
In the same year, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the role of women in the green economy. This resolution calls on the Member States to:
- innovate and stimulate greater participation of both women and men in the development of renewable and environmentally friendly energy and architecture.
- promote women’s entrepreneurship in the green economy.
- ensure that women are equally represented in political decision-making bodies as well as in government-appointed bodies and institutions. These bodies are those dealing with defining, planning and implementing environmental, energy and green jobs policies, to include the gender perspective.
- appoint more women to management roles and company boards within the green jobs sector.
- use and develop ways to encourage women to choose courses and careers in the environment, transport and energy sectors. At the same time, fight stereotypes that favour careers in natural and applied sciences for men.
Furthermore, the resolution urges the Commission to be particularly aware that billions of people are totally dependent on biomass for energy. Children and women suffer from health problems because they collect, process and use biomass.
In 2014, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on A 2030 framework for climate and energy policies, which stresses that active labour market policies have to be targeted and designed to meet worker and labour demands. This is needed to avoid an insufficiently qualified labour force in emerging sustainable technologies, and to provide young people, women and disadvantaged groups with access to sustainable quality jobs in the green economy.
The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development – Rio+20 – took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on 20 – 22 June 2012. It resulted in a focused political outcome document, titled The Future We Want, which contains clear and practical measures for implementing sustainable development. It recognises the critical role that energy plays in the development process, and that modern energy services are essential to social inclusion and gender equality. In September 2011, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the Sustainable Energy for All initiative and shared his vision for how governments, business and civil society working in partnership can make sustainable energy for all a reality by 2030. The United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared the decade 2014 – 2024 as the decade of sustainable energy for all. This underscores the importance of energy issues for sustainable development and for the elaboration of the post-2015 development agenda. The first two years of the decade will focus on women, energy and health.
The new sustainable development goals agreed at the UN Sustainable Development Summit include specific objectives on affordable and clean energy for all. Even though not directly referring to gender equality, two targets under Goal 7 (ensuring universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all) are highly relevant for ensuring women’s equal access to energy, as women are considered vulnerable to energy poverty.
- “By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services.”
- “By 2030, expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States, and land-locked developing countries, in accordance with their respective programmes of support.”
How and when? Energy and the integration of gender dimension into the policy cycle
Gender dimension can be integrated in all phases of the policy cycle. For a detailed description of how gender can be mainstreamed in each phase of the policy cycle click here.
Below, you can find useful resources and practical examples for mainstreaming gender into the energy. They are organised according to the most relevant phase of the policy cycle they may serve.
In this phase, it is recommended that information is gathered on the situation of women and men in a particular area. This means looking for sex-disaggregated data and gender statistics, and checking for the existence of studies, programme or project reports, and/or evaluations from previous periods.
Examples of gender and energy statistics
European Union labour force survey (EU-LFS)
The European Union labour force survey (EU-LFS) provides the main aggregated statistics on labour market outcomes in the European Union. It provides disaggregated statistics on employment by sex, age groups, economic activity, education attainment and field of education, from which it is possible to measure the presence of women working in the energy sector.
European Union living conditions survey (EU-SILC)
The European Union living conditions survey (EU-SILC) is an instrument seeking to collect comparable data on income, poverty, social exclusion and living conditions. It contains, among other data, information on housing deprivation that is relevant for measuring energy poverty by sex.
IEA energy outlook
The IEA energy outlook includes comparable world statistics on energy access, efficiency and renewable energy. However, access to the latest data and reports is not free of charge. The 2011 edition includes a section called Energy for all which covers data on access and investments in electricity and clean cooking facilities that are relevant from a gender point of view.
Examples of studies, research and reports
EURELECTRIC, EPSU and EMCEF, The impact of restructuring on women in the energy sector, 1999
The study assesses the impact of the sector restructuring on women’s employment in this sector, presenting data on women employed in the sector.
European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, Trends and drivers of change in the European energy sector: Mapping report, 2008
The study includes, among others, data on women employed in the energy sector.
Roehr U., Gender and Energy: A perspective from the North, background paper for the workshop Gender Perspectives for Earth Summit 2002, Energy, Transport, Information for Decision-Making, Berlin, Germany, 10 – 12 January, 2001
The report analyses gender aspects in the energy field. It is based mostly on German sources and examples. However, findings are also suitable for the other EU Member States.
Panjwani A., Energy as a key variable in promoting gender equality and empowering women: A gender and energy perspective on MDG #3, 2005
This paper explores whether links between gender and energy and MDG 3 shown in the literature exist in real-world practice. It does that by looking at empirical evidence from studies on the subject and presenting an overview of the results, as well as more detailed findings.
OECD, Gender and sustainable development maximising the economic, social and environmental role of women, 2008
The report provides information on gender in sustainable development, including an analysis of gender in the energy field.
Räty, R. and Carlsson-Kanyama, A., Comparing energy use by gender, age and income in some European countries, FOI, Swedish Defence Research Agency, 2009
This study analyses energy consumption patterns by gender in four European countries (Germany, Sweden, Norway and Greece).
ADAPT, Women in the renewable energy sector (WiRES), 2010
The report presents the main findings of the WiRES project (Women in Renewable Energy Sector) co-funded by the European Commission, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities under budget heading 04.03.03.01, industrial relations and social dialogue.
The report provides insights on:
- the occupational impact for women in the renewable energy sector in Europe.
- the role of social dialogue in women’s access to employment in the renewable energy sector and the relative working conditions.
- best practices of social dialogue in the renewable energy field and policy recommendations.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Gender equality, women's rights and access to energy services: An inspiration paper in the run-up to Rio+20, 2012
This study aims to increase international attention on the gender equality dimensions of energy access in the run-up to Rio+20, and to contribute to the sustainable energy for all (SE4ALL) initiative and its goal of ensuring universal access to modern energy services by 2030. It conceptualises gender and energy in development from a gender and rights perspective and presents an analysis of energy system governance at household, national and global levels.
EIGE, Review of the implementation in the EU Area K of the Beijing Platform of Action: Women and the environment–gender equality and climate change, 2012
The report prepared by the EIGE reviews the progress made by the European Union Member States in the implementation of 1 of the 12 areas of concern of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action for Equality, Development and Peace (BPfA), namely of Area K: Women and the environment. It is the first EU-wide report on gender equality and climate change which provides comparable data at the EU level. Furthermore, it introduces the first indicators to support policy makers in measuring progress in climate change policies from the perspective of gender equality. It includes specific sections on energy e.g. energy needs, energy consumption.
International Labour Foundation for Sustainable Development (Sustainlabour), Green jobs and related policy frameworks: An overview of the European Union, 2013
The study provides an outlook on green jobs in the EU, including information on women employed in green sectors such as the energy sector.
Cambridge Econometrics, Employment effects of selected scenarios from the Energy Roadmap 2050, 2013
This report provides an assessment of the employment and labour market impacts of the scenarios in the Energy Roadmap 2050. It also provides estimates of the current level of employment in energy supply sectors in the EU, also providing information on women employed in the energy sector and future projections.
Begoña M., Sánchez López A., and Martín L.,. Green jobs and related policy frameworks: An overview of the European Union, 2013
This paper provides insights on women’s participation in the green economy, including the energy sector.
Sustainable Energy for All (UN programme on energy) under the coordination of the World Bank and IEA, Global tracking framework, 2014
The report includes a snapshot of the status of more than 170 countries with respect to energy access, action on energy efficiency and renewable energy, and energy consumption. It also provides information on women’s access to energy.
CEDEFOP, Green skills and innovation for inclusive growth, Luxembourg, Publications Office of the European Union, 2015
The report contains evidence and policy analysis to foster an equitable shift to greener economies and more sustainable societies, including data on gender and skills/education and employment in the green sectors.
HEDON, Women, energy and economic empowerment, 2015
This focuses on the role of women in providing energy products and services to the poor and ‘difficult to reach’ consumers. It also explores the impact that women-led micro and small enterprises selling energy services can have, with respect to household spending, poverty, gender equality and local markets and economies.
Did you know that EIGE has a Resource and Documentation Centre? Check whether there is relevant information to feed into your analysis.
One of the first steps to take when defining your policy/project/programme is to gather information and analyse the situation of women and men in the respective policy area. The information and data you collected will allow an understanding of the reality and assist you in designing your policy, programme or project. Specific methods that can be used in this phase are gender analysis and gender impact assessment.
Examples of gender analysis
Caprile M. (ed.), Sánchez B., Vallès N., Gómez A., Potrony J., Sixto E., Herrera D., Oleaga M., Amate M., and Isasa I., Monitoring progress towards gender equality in the sixth framework programme–sustainable energy systems
Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Union, 2008
This report presents the main results, conclusions and recommendations on how to integrate gender in the sub-priority 6.1 of the specific programme 1, integrating and strengthening the European research area (2002 – 2006): Sustainable energy systems. The report also provides a set of recommendations for making further steps towards gender equality in framework programme activities.
The 2010 gender and energy toolkit
This toolkit, drafted by ETC/ENERGIA to support Norad’s Energy Department provides information on available tools for gender analysis in the energy field.
The 2011 mainstreaming gender in energy
This practical handbook, drafted by ENERGIA, seeks to provide guidance, practical tools and examples for energy projects that show how to undertake gender analysis systematically.
The 2004 UNDP gender and energy for sustainable development
This is a toolkit and resource guide that targets development practitioners, energy planners, community groups and gender experts. It provides information on ways to address gender in energy issues at the project and policy levels.
The 2014 UNIDPO guide on gender mainstreaming in energy and climate change projects
This guide aims at providing practical guidance on how to systematically address gender inequalities specific to UNIDO’s energy and climate change projects, through a gender analysis.
Joy Clancy, Late developers - Gender mainstreaming in the energy sector
The paper presents describes the approach to gender mainstreaming in the energy sector undertaken by ENERGIA in selected countries in Africa. The paper includes a framework for engendering energy projects and policies in both the design and implementation phases.
Examples of stakeholders that can be consulted
ENERGIA - International network on gender and sustainable energy.
GenderCC – Women for Climate Justice
GenderCC – Women for Climate Justice - global network on gender and climate justice.
For a more detailed description of how gender can be mainstreamed in this phase of the policy cycle, click here.
In this phase, it’s appropriate to analyse budgets from a gender perspective. Gender budgeting is used to identify how budget allocations contribute to promoting gender equality. Gender budgeting brings visibility to how much public money is spent for women and men respectively. Thus, gender budgeting ensures that public funds are fairly distributed between women and men. It also contributes to accountability and transparency about how public funds are being spent.
Example of gender budgeting in energy
The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, in cooperation with ENERGIA - Gender budgeting framework in the energy sector
The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, in cooperation with ENERGIA, has developed a gender budgeting framework in the energy sector. Gender equality in financing energy for all, drafted in 2011, provides insights on gender-responsive budgeting in financing energy.
The 2014 guide on gender mainstreaming UNIDO’s energy and climate change portfolio
The 2014 guide on gender mainstreaming UNIDO’s energy and climate change portfolio includes a framework on gender budgeting in the energy field.
Examples of indicators for monitoring gender and energy
Lack of sex-disaggregated data in the energy field is a major problem in adopting gender oriented policy in this field in the EU: No data – no visibility; no visibility – no interest. According to Clancy, the lack of gender disaggregated data has been partly attributed to policy makers and planners who aren’t aware of the gender effects of energy policies. On the other hand, it is also attributable to the weak communication of existing gender tools for gender mainstreaming in the energy field.
While the European Commission undertook efforts in collecting data disaggregated by sex for some energy-related indicators (e.g. home heating, skills and education, employment by sector of activity), much of the indicators used to monitor progress on the advancement towards the 2020 energy targets are not disaggregated by sex.
However, the following are useful indicators for measuring gender inequalities in the energy sector.
Percentage of women employed in electricity, gas, steam and air-conditioning supply activities
Participation of women in the energy sector is quite low. The figure may be derived from the percentage of women employed in electricity, gas, steam and air-conditioning supply activities, based on Eurostat data (Eurostat, LFS, table Employment by sex, age groups and economic activity, from 2008, NACE Rev. 2, 1000, lfsa_egan2.
Percentage of population with primary reliance on non-solid fuels
Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all is a goal of the 2015 UN position paper Monitoring gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. The suggested indicator is percentage of population with primary reliance on non-solid fuels, by income/wealth, urban/rural location. The indicator can monitor some key gender dimensions on lack of access to energy sources. This includes the time women and girls spend in the collection of firewood and other fuel sources, as well as the health impacts of indoor household pollution. It can be calculated through household surveys.
When preparing calls for proposals as part of funding programmes, or terms of reference for public procurement procedures, do not forget to formalise gender-related requirements. This particularly affects contractors to be hired for policy support services. This will ensure the projects and services which the European Commission will fund are not gender-blind or gender-biased.
Example of procurement
European Commission, Buying social: A guide to taking account of social considerations in public procurement, 2010
This guide aims to raise contracting authorities’ awareness of the potential benefits of integrating social considerations in public procurement. It also explains in a practical way the opportunities offered by the existing EU legal framework for public authorities to take social considerations into account in their public procurement. This means they pay attention not only to price, but also to the best value for money. The guide follows the procurement procedures step by step. Energy efficiency and gender equality represent two of the social responsible criteria included in the guide.
The 2014 Recommendations for the federal procurement offices in Switzerland
The 2014 Recommendations for the federal procurement offices in Switzerland includes recommendations for sustainable procurement. Energy efficiency and gender equality, e.g. equal pay for women and men, represent two of the criteria to be considered by sustainable procurement.
The 2014 guide on gender mainstreaming UNIDO’s energy and climate change portfolio
The 2014 guide on gender mainstreaming UNIDO’s energy and climate change portfolio includes a suggestions on public procurement and in particular on terms of reference for the employment of a gender expert in the policy/programme/project design and implementation phases.
The energy sector management assistance (ESMAP) programme Gender: Social inclusion in energy
The programme provides a series of examples of terms of reference for involving consultants in different stages of the energy policy cycle.
For a more detailed description of how gender can be mainstreamed in this phase of the policy cycle, click here.
In the implementation phase of a policy or programme, ensure that all who are involved are sufficiently aware about the relevant gender objectives and plans. If not, set up briefings and capacity-building initiatives according to staff needs. Think about researchers, proposal evaluators, monitoring and evaluation experts, scientific officers, programme committee members, etc.
Examples of capacity-building initiatives about energy
The gender toolkit, a training module on energy funded by the European Commission within the FP7 programme
The gender toolkit, a training module on energy funded by the European Commission within the FP7 programme, takes a closer look at how gender is relevant in the specific field of energy in FP7. It points out the relevance of gender within the field, discusses the topics that have been put forward by the European Commission in the field’s work programme. It provides suggestions on gender-relevant issues which may be taken up by the research teams. To illustrate how planned research in energy can be made gender sensitive, examples of projects are included based on project summaries found on the CORDIS FP7.
The 2010 UNIDO Guidance note on sustainable energy for all
The 2010 UNIDO Guidance note on sustainable energy for all: the gender dimensions provides a brief overview of issues related to gender equality. It serves as a starting point in working with policy makers and other stakeholders in developing programmatic and policy activities in energy.
ENERGIA's training course "The gender face of energy"
ENERGIA has developed a training course entitled The gender face of energy, which includes the following training modules available online:
- concepts in gender and energy.
- gender tools for energy projects.
- engendering energy policy.
- gender and energy advocacy.
- engendering energy project proposal development.
- capacity-building of organisations.
There is also a sub-module on the communication of the project result.
The UNDP's gender and climate change training modules and policy briefs
The UNDP has developed a series of gender and climate change training modules and policy briefs directed at practitioners and policy makers, in particular in the Asia-Pacific region. The themes covered focus on climate change issues such as adaptation and mitigation, disaster risk reduction, energy and finance.
Example of gender language in energy
ENERGIA's fact sheets on gender mainstreaming in the energy field
ENERGIA has produced a series of fact sheets on gender mainstreaming in the energy field, providing definitions and examples from real-world programmes, including developing countries. Some examples of issues tackled are:
- gender mainstreaming in rural electrification programmes.
- gender mainstreaming in biogas programmes.
- institutionalising gender mainstreaming processes in energy organisations.
- gender, energy technology and climate change.
- building a framework for gender-responsive energy projects and policies.
The ESMAP briefing note on integrating gender considerations into energy operations
The ESMAP briefing note on integrating gender considerations into energy operations provides a range of definitions related to gender mainstreaming in energy and practical examples on how to integrate gender mainstreaming in energy policies and all policy cycles.
A policy cycle or programme should be checked both during – monitoring, and at the end – evaluation, of its implementation.
Monitoring the ongoing work allows for the follow-up of progress and remedying unforeseen difficulties. This process should take into account the indicators delineated in the planning phase and realign data collection based on those indicators.
At the end of a policy cycle or programme, a gender-sensitive evaluation should take place. Make your evaluation publicly accessible and strategically disseminate its results to promote learning potential.
Example of monitoring and evaluating gender in energy
The 2004 UNDP gender and energy for sustainable development
The 2004 UNDP gender and energy for sustainable development: A toolkit and resource guide includes indications on monitoring and evaluation of gender issues in energy.
The 2014 UNIDPO guide on gender mainstreaming energy and climate change projects
The 2014 UNIDPO guide on gender mainstreaming energy and climate change projects provides information on the formulation of gender outcomes, outputs and indicators in the energy field and on their monitoring and evaluation.
The 2003 Monitoring and evaluation in rural electrification projects: A demand-oriented approach report
The 2003 Monitoring and evaluation in rural electrification projects: A demand-oriented approach report, drafted by ESAMP, develops a methodology for measuring the socioeconomic impacts of rural electrification projects, with a focus on poverty and gender.
Practical examples of gender mainstreaming in energy
The Norwegian action plan for women’s rights and gender equality was launched in 2007 to emphasise the importance of gender sensitivity in energy as one of the five priority areas of Norwegian development cooperation. The plan states that Norway will take measures to ensure:
- both women and men participate at all levels in the management of natural resources in partner countries.
- contribution to the creation of jobs and livelihoods for both women and men.
- support for sustainable, safe energy solutions that ease women’s burden of work and improve their access to health services and education.
- support for the development and use of clean energy solutions, such as solar energy.
- promotion of the active participation of women in decision-making and implementation processes.
The UK initiative for the future sustainable procurement national action plan gives the British government a clear direction on how to make real progress towards better, more sustainable procurement. This will in turn allow it to move forward on sustainable development and set an example both to business and consumers in the UK and to other countries. Gender equality and sustainable energy represent two criteria to be considered by the British authorities in awarding contracts.
The key milestones of the energy policy are presented below.
Read teh document here.
Read the regulation here.
Read the decision here.
Read the resolution here.
Current policy priorities at EU level
The energy union policy is based on five mutually-reinforcing and closely interrelated dimensions designed to bring greater energy security, sustainability and competitiveness:
- energy security, solidarity and trust.
- a fully integrated European energy market.
- energy efficiency contributing to moderation of demand.
- decarbonising the economy.
- research, innovation and competitiveness.
Energy detailed objectives and targets are included in the EU 2020, 2030 and 2050 energy strategies.
The main EU energy policy priorities by 2020 are:
- making Europe more energy-efficient by accelerating investment into efficient buildings, products and transport.
- building a pan-European energy market by constructing the necessary transmission lines, pipelines, LNG terminals and other infrastructure. By 2015, no EU country should be isolated from the single market.
- protecting consumer rights and achieving high safety standards in the energy sector.
- implementing the strategic energy technology plan – the EU′s strategy to accelerate the development and deployment of low carbon technologies such as solar power, smart grids and carbon capture and storage.
- pursuing good relations with the EU’s external suppliers of energy and energy transit countries.
- supporting entrepreneurship to make European business fitter and more competitive.
- covering every part of the increasingly international value chain from access to raw materials to after-sales service.
EU energy targets to be achieved by 2020 are included in the EU 2020 strategy:
- reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% compared to 1990 levels by 2020. The EU is prepared to go further and reduce by 30% if other developed countries make similar commitments and developing countries contribute according to their abilities, as part of a comprehensive global agreement.
- increasing the share of renewable in final energy consumption to 20%.
- moving towards a 20% increase in energy efficiency.
By 2030, the EU aims to reach the following targets in the energy field:
- a 40% cut in greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 levels.
- at least a 27% share of renewable energy consumption.
- at least 27% energy savings compared with the business-as-usual scenario.
By 2050, the EU aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% – 95% when compared to 1990 levels. The main priorities set for reaching this objective are:
- decarbonising the energy system.
- increasing the share of renewable energy and using energy more efficiently.
- investing in infrastructure and replacing old infrastructure in place; designing the common energy market.
Furthermore, the EU aims to allow labour market and skills policies to play an active role in supporting employment and job creation in the green economy.
To achieve this, the Commission sets the following priorities of activities:
- bridging the skills gaps.
- anticipating change, securing transitions and promoting mobility.
- supporting job creation.
- increasing data quality
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Selected policy documents relevant to energy
Selected policy documents relevant to gender equality
Selected references of studies on gender issues in energy
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Table of contents
- 1Relevance of gender in the policy area
- 2Gender inequalities in the policy area - Main issues
- 3Gender equality policy objectives at EU and international level
- 4Policy cycle
- 5Practical examples of gender mainstreaming in energy
- 7Current policy priorities at EU level
- 8Want to know more?
- 9Related content