Energy Community Secretariat successfully launches its first conference on gender equality in the energy sector

27 April 2021

Yesterday, the virtual conference “Energy Transition through the Lens of Gender Equality”, organized by the Energy Community Secretariat, brought together more than 130 participants, including decision-makers, energy professionals and academics, to discuss three main aspects of gender equality in the energy transition.

The conference focused on gender mainstreaming in the energy sector, identifying the different impacts that the use of energy has on men and women, but also providing examples of integrating a gender perspective in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies, regulatory measures and spending programmes, broadening perceptions and combatting discrimination. It was underlined how women have the potential to become real change agents of the energy transition and need a seat at the table where decisions are taken.

The event examined the barriers, inequalities, biases and challenges women face in the green energy sector, that, unless addressed systematically, will persist also in the energy transition. Beyond entry barriers, the lack of a flexible working environment, mentoring and self-confidence hinders women from growing professionally and unlocking their full potential while also balancing work and family.

The event also looked at how energy poverty takes a significant toll on women, often heading households as caregivers or living alone at a pensionable age and how gender is therefore a risk factor. Without modern energy services, rural women spend long hours performing basic subsistence tasks which limits their options for educational, social and political interaction outside the household.

The Energy Community Secretariat will continue to contribute towards promoting gender equality and emphasise this aspect of the energy transition.