Returns on the meeting at which the SENSD team was mobilized last week: "EU Sustainable Energy for All" summit in Brussels, 16 April 2012. Synthesis of the outcome document issued by the Danish presidency at the end of the session.
The Danish Presidency and the EU Commission co-hosted the one-day Summit "EU Sustainable Energy for All" in Brussels on 16 April 2012. The afternoon session's focus was on Gender Equality and Access to Modern Energy Services.
The key points emanating from the discussion will be brought forward to the Women Leaders' Forum for Heads o State and Government, organized by UN Women un cooperation with the Government of Brazil and other partners, to be held in Rio de Janeiro on 19 and 21 June 2012.
The following key points were made:
- Women's and girl's benefits from enhanced access to adequate, reliable and clean modern energy services are extensive. Energy access can contribute to reducing women's and girl's time poverty and their daily domestic and unpaid tasks, including collecting firewood and other sources of energy for cooking, heating and light. Reduced time poverty can in turn open up time for education and employment opportunities. Lighting, from solar lamps and other electrification can increase children's available hours for homework, allow them access to evening classes, provide safety for women and girls through street lamps, and provide women flexibility in work schedules.
- Access to sustainable energy services for all should be addresses through a rights-based approach, take gender considerations into account and should be viewed in the broader context of the realization of other basic economic and social rights. a gender-sensitive and rights-based approach to energy access enploys an explicit focus on women's energy rights and legitimizes women as rights-holders. It provides a tool for governments, the international community, the private sector and other stakeholders within the energy sector to draw attention to the right to energy for all, in particular the rights of those who need it most--vulnerable and excluded groups of women.
- Ensuring women's enhanced access to modern energy services requires the systematic integration of gender perspectives into green economy- and energy-related policies, programmes and decision -making processes at all levels. Women's lack of access to modern energy needs to be tackled throug a holistic approach that addresses the root causes and structural impediments within institutions--from lack of productive resources, capacity, technology and financing, to specific gender-related biases, such as gender stereotypes. Women's voice, participation and leadership in decision-making bodies within the energy sector needs to be strengthened.
- All stakeholders--governments, the international community, civil society and the private sector--should work collaboratively to enhance local communities' access to sustainable energy services and women's empowerment. Joint initiatives could focus on advocating for enhanced access of woman and girls to modern energy; promoting gender-sensitive design of energy technologies and energy information systems; ans ensuring adequate investments in energy infrastructure that address the specific needs of women. SE4ALL provides an important opportunity to increase the international focus on gender equality and access to energy poverty. Gender equality in energy access should be an explicit principle and component of such system and would provide a strategic entry-point for global energy governance.