Under the EU Women and Sustainable Energy Initiative, Breaking the Barriers supports women in Ethiopia, Malawi, Burkina Faso and Honduras gain access to solar panels, driers for preserving fish and irrigation systems and helps them to make and sell energy-efficient cooking stoves. It aims to increase rural women’s jobs and income in the sustainable energy sector, improve working and living conditions, promote gender equality, and strengthen women’s entrepreneurship and social status.
Genevieve Lomax, Communications Advisor for Breaking the Barriers, said: “We are so pleased to receive this award on behalf of our partners and project staff. It recognises that women are central to ensuring meaningful development through sustainable energy.
“We are supporting women to create and own Women’s Led Sustainable Energy Enterprises in some of the poorest and most remote off-grid communities. These groups receive training in sustainable energy products and technologies, business skills and can access finance through savings and loans groups.”
The 3.5 year project, launched on International Women’s Day 2018, aims to benefit more than 3 million people. The participating women will work with 201 women-led sustainable energy enterprises and experience the added value of selling or purchasing sustainable energy products.
Through access to sustainable energy products, communities will be able to reduce expenditure on unsustainable energy sources, including wood, kerosene and batteries. Moving forward, the women will also be trained to lobby on regional and national platforms and networks so they can push local and national authorities to support sustainable energy enterprises.
Women’s groups and their new cookware in South Omo, Ethiopia
A technical workshop on solar panels, Honduras (photo: OCDIH)