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Women to play roles in sustainable energy development



Mrs Binta Bello, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, said experience overtime in energy and diverse sectors suggested that women had important roles to play in sustainable energy development.

Bello said this on Friday in Abuja during a one-day Consultative Forum on Gender Issues in Renewable Energy Management Options.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the topic of the forum is “Women as drivers of Climate Change: Roles of Rural Women in Renewable Energy Processes’’.

She stated that the meeting was convened to equip stakeholders with insight in promoting gender responsive Renewable Energy sector management, building and implementation of effective road map.

“Experience in other sectors, oral history from the energy sector suggests that women indeed have an important role to play in sustainable energy development.

“Women need renewable energy to address their critical need for cooking energy that is less labour demanding, more convenient and safe.

“A broad view of the entire household fuel cycle needs to be taken, the kitchen and housing design, food preparation and processing, improved technology for the economic collection and transportation of firewood.

“Women need renewable energy to improve profitability and safety in their energy intensive micro-enterprises to save labour,” Bello said.

The permanent secretary stated that women were also mainstream users and producers of energy, adding that they influence and make many family purchases related to energy.

According to her, an economic framework including human energy and health externalities would greatly facilitate women’s activities in the energy sector.

Prof. Eli Bala, Director-General, Energy Commission of Nigeria, said the commission was committed to gender issues.

Represented by Mrs Adeola Eleri, a senior official with the commission, Bala said that the commission had mainstreamed gender issues into the improved energy policy.

He added that the commission was ready to collaborate with other stakeholders to ensure that fire woods used in cooking were tested and certified for women and the public.

In addition, he said that the road map generated from the forum should consider gender issues assessment for renewable energy frame work and policies especially to affect women and children.

“Data on energy needs to come in to check number of women that have access to energy use, number of men that have access to energy use, data is not disaggregated, we should disaggregate data among sex and age,” he said.

Mrs Priscilla Achakpa, Executive Director, Women Environmental Programme (WEP), said that women had tremendous indigenous knowledge on renewable energy issues.

Achakpa said there was draft master policy plan on renewable energy domicile with the energy commission but barely touched the lives of women.

She however said that the ministry needed to ensure women were involved in energy decision making to the grass root.

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