Gender and sustainable energy
The new Agenda for Sustainable Development, which aims to end poverty and promote well-being and prosperity while safeguarding ecological systems of the planet by 2030, has placed a much-needed emphasis on energy access and gender equality, elevating them as stand-alone sustainable development goals (SDGs). Similarly, there is now an increasing appreciation in international development discourses of the role of energy as a conduit for redressing historic gender inequities. Yet, energy poverty is still pervasive – one in five people in Africa and South Asia do not have access to electricity, and close to 3 billion people (40 percent of the global population) burn solid fuels such as wood, charcoal, animal waste or crop residues in open fires or inefficient stoves for their daily cooking and heating. As we transition into the 2030 development agenda, serious effort is needed to move beyond understanding the importance of both energy access and gender equality to viewing both as central to questions of sustainability, efficiency and effectiveness in the energy sector.