On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, the European Commission is announcing the introduction of three projects aiming to promote women’s entrepreneurship and economic empowerment in the sustainable energy sector.
At this occasion, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica said: "The lack of access to affordable and clean energy affects all members of a community, but disproportionately intensely women. Our new programmes will empower women in our partner countries to improve their own lives but also to drive the sustainable development of the entire communities."
More in particular:
- "Women Increasing Sustainable Energy Access and Use (WISE)", is an action implemented by Barefoot power in Sierra Leone, Uganda and Kenya. The action is designed to help women establish sustainable businesses by providing them with capital grants, technical and business training and linkage with business incubators in the sustainable energy market.
- "Breaking the barriers: Promoting women entrepreneurship in sustainable energy value chains through innovative approaches" is an action based on the assumption that once women’s collective receive Sustainable Energy technical training, business mentoring and financial assistance, they can become business enterprises in the Sustainable Energy value chain. Operated by Christian Aid, the action sets its activities on increasing women’s production, marketing, and distribution of Sustainable Energy products and related services in Ethiopia, Honduras, Burkina Faso and Malawi.
- The third action managed by Fundacion Plan intends to facilitate access to women entrepreneurship in the sustainable energy sector in Senegal, Mali and Niger. The project, "Economic and Social Development of Women through Renewable Energy in the Sahel" provide funding and training to women, allowing them to establish and launch micro-financial products in the sustainable energy sector.
The launch of these three projects is part of the EU's commitment to put gender equality and women's rights at the centre of its work, something that is also demonstrated through other important EU activities in this field, such as the Spotlight Initiative, a joint EU-UN initiative focusing on eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls.