Evidence-Based Approaches in Engaging More Women across the Clean Energy Value Chain

By Simon Kiragu and Maureen Onyango

Edited by Linda Davis, PhD

wPOWER has recently published a report on “BEST PRACTICES in accelerating access to household energy,” which is a collection of evidence of the solutions implemented by 34 wPOWER partner organizations who have broken cultural barriers by engaging women across the clean energy value chain. According to the report, increased access to solar-based lighting solutions and improved cookstoves occurred when organizations replicated women focused approaches at different levels of the value chain.

Multiple barriers exist that prevent women from participating in the energy value chain including some negative attitudes towards women running businesses, lack of access to finance and lack of awareness of opportunities in clean energy entrepreneurship. As a result, women continue to be underrepresented  across the energy value chain.

“When women are strategically positioned as agents of change, rather than recipients of support, community development sustains beyond project investments”.

Women’s Earth Alliance

Unfortunately, ignoring the role of women in promoting adoption of cleaner and safer cooking and lighting solutions  has been directly linked to a slow adoption of the products within communities.

To be able to change these negative attitudes and increase the chances for more women to engaging in the energy value chain, there is need to showcase best practices which are evidence-based and which highlight the positive impact of involving women at different levels of the value chain.

By publishing these case studies, wPOWER anticipates that more organizations in the sector will replicate these practices in order to scale up the most effective approaches in increasing adoption of clean energy in both rural and urban low – income communities that have hitherto lacked access.

A Selection of wPOWER Partners

The organizations highlighted in this report have not only broken cultural barriers but continue to move the status of women from vulnerable onlookers to key stakeholders, decision makers and agents of change.

Download the full report here.