When we think about the faces of energy poverty, the poorest in society, and particularly women, come to mind. That’s because they make up the majority of the 1 billion people who don’t have access to electricity and the over 3 billion people who don’t have access to clean cooking solutions.
This must change.
That’s why, for the past 18 months, Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) has been leading the development of a global partnership platform – the People-Centered Accelerator.
The Accelerator aims to advance gender equality, social inclusion and women’s empowerment in sustainable energy. By focusing on these areas, the Accelerator and its partners from across government, industry, and civil society, are helping ensure that we put people at the center of energy decisions. We must reach the furthest first if we are to ensure affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030.
By having better data, by working together, by forming new partnerships and by unlocking finance – all core aims of the People-Centered Accelerator – we can have a much more strategic impact on energy access for those who need it the most, and ultimately, change people’s perception of women’s role in energy.
If we’re to do this, we need more women as clients and consumers of new integrated energy systems. We need their insights to be heard and channeled into the design of solutions. We need more women to be the innovators and entrepreneurs in their communities. We need more women in the management and leadership of energy companies.
By enabling this and allowing women to become part of the solution, women move from being the face of energy poverty, to the face of the energy sector.
For women to prosper, be successful business owners or effective village leaders, we need to secure affordable, reliable and clean energy supplies that can sustain economic activity.
Unsurprisingly, therefore, it is women who are working hard to drive creative and innovative solutions at the speed and scale we need to end energy poverty by putting those who are furthest, first.
The People-Centered Accelerator has bought together a diverse group of like-minded partners who are committed to working together to accelerate action that puts people at the center of energy decisions and ensures no one is left behind in the energy transition.
The Accelerator helps showcase the many organizations already engaged in meaningful work on gender equality, social inclusion and women’s empowerment in sustainable energy. It is a place where we can come together to develop evidence and knowledge, leverage new partnerships and deliver energy services that are fit for the future. It is a place to generate the speed and scale of action on energy access and gender equality that we need. It is a space where together, we can go further, faster.
That is why SEforALL is hosting a guest blog series with partners who are supporting our core workstreams throughout March. From expert commentary on sustainable access pathways for the most vulnerable and hardest-to-reach people, to how we can direct capital to gender-responsive and socially inclusive energy businesses, and empowering women engaged in energy service delivery to achieve autonomy, authority, and decision-making power – this month is all about the great work of the People-Centered Accelerator partners.
Together, we can create an energy system that delivers for all and enables the equitable, prosperous and strong economic future that this will bring. Join us and be part of this exciting journey to build energy systems from the people up.
This blog post is part of a series Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) is running throughout March related to our work and partners from the People-Centered Accelerator. The series has been timed to coincide with International Women’s Day on March 8, 2018.
Read more on the Accelerator here and follow #SDG7AllEqual for the latest. To find out more about joining the People-Centered Accelerator, or any other partnership opportunity with SEforALL, please email partnerships@SEforALL.org
Photo credit: Frontier Markets