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Empowering Women with Distributed Renewable Energy

In the quest for sustainable development and social equality, the global community has increasingly recognized the pivotal role of women in shaping the future (SDG5). However, women have faced numerous challenges, from limited access to education and economic opportunities to restricted involvement in decision-making processes.

The Powering Jobs Census, published by Power for All in 2022, has shown the DRE sector to be a large, resilient, and stable employer in sub-Saharan Africa and India. Furthermore, the sector provides a unique opportunity to increase women’s participation in the workforce. Aligned with the global energy transition, the gradual replacement of the traditional fossil fuel sector, which has historically sidelined women, with the growing DRE sector presents a much more inclusive and equitable outlook. The shift towards sustainable and renewable sources not only addresses the urgency of tackling climate change but also creates a conducive work environment for women to play significant roles in the production, research, implementation, and development of clean technologies. The active involvement of women will not only contribute to building a more diverse workforce but also open up new opportunities for leadership and empowerment in a field crucial to the sustainable future of the planet.

The census provided insightful glimpses into the future expectations of women’s participation in the DRE sector. According to current estimates, women’s representation in the DRE workforce is far from parity but outperforms the fossil fuel sector, with Kenya leading at 41%, followed by Ethiopia and Nigeria at 37%, Uganda at 28%, and India at 21%. The latest estimates indicate that the sector could be employing 100k women by the end of last year in the census’ five focus countries.

Looking ahead, future projections indicate a positive trajectory in gender inclusion within DRE. Estimates indicate a sustained or increased representation of women in the workforce, with Kenya and Ethiopia both expected to maintain a robust 41% share. Nigeria is also expected to see a similar increase, reaching 41%, while Uganda and India are expected to see women’s participation grow, with estimates standing at 40% and 27%, respectively. These figures suggest a promising trend towards greater gender diversity and inclusion in the future landscape of the DRE workforce across these countries.

In line with Power for All’s commitment to transparency and delivering comprehensive insights, we will be partnering with The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) for a more in-depth exploration of the gender dynamics within the DRE sector. This forthcoming report aims to provide a nuanced understanding of the important role women play in shaping the future of sustainable energy. Power for All will also present an updated version of its Powering Job Census, ensuring that our stakeholders have access to the latest and most relevant data to inform their decisions. This research will provide a deeper understanding of the forces driving change within the sector and empower informed decisions in the pursuit of a sustainable and inclusive future.

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