Alliance Celebrates International Women’s Day with Two Events
In celebration of International Women’s Day, the Alliance is co-hosting two events in New York with ENERGIA and the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) alongside UN Women’s 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).
Our flagship event on March 12 is a half-day session on Access to Energy as a Key Driver of Gender Equality. This high-level event will raise awareness among the global gender community that access to energy is necessary for achieving global gender equality goals and targets and provides immense opportunities for women’s empowerment. We are delighted to feature remarks by Ambassador Cathy Russell, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues; Baroness Lindsay Northover, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for DFID; Michele Sullivan, President of the Caterpillar Foundation; Kathy Calvin, the CEO of the UN Foundation, Radha Mutiah, CEO of the Alliance, along with many other influential global leaders.The high-level event will also feature a technology exhibition to raise awareness about the wide variety of household energy products available in the developing world. Through this exhibit, the gender-energy nexus will be highlighted in a practical, tangible way for the gender community, policy makers, and other relevant stakeholders.
On March 9, the Alliance will co-host an official CSW panel discussion, which will be moderated by Wanjira Mathai, Alliance Leadership Council Member and Chairwoman of the Green Belt Movement.
Both events will demonstrate that access to energy is a critical global gender issue cutting across several of the Beijing Platform for Action areas; (1) women and health, (2) women and poverty, (3) women and the environment, and (4) women and the economy; and present concrete ideas and solutions on how to integrate access to energy into their gender equality advocacy efforts within existing international processes such as Beijing+20, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the UNFCCC Conference of Parties.
This year’s CSW marks the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (Beijing+20). This international convening will address opportunities for achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment in the United Nations’ post-2015 agenda. This is a critical opportunity to highlight the significance of energy access as a critical gender issue.
UN Women recently launched its flagship report The World Survey of the Role of Women in Development, which is issued every five years. This report highlights clean cookstoves and electricity as two of the four key domains for investment with a particularly strong potential to transform the lives of women and girls, and improve gender equality. In line with Alliance objectives, UN Women calls for investment at scale in efficient cooking technologies that use cleaner fuels and encourage cookstove uptake by involving women in cookstove design, testing and social marketing. The report also emphasizes women’s agency, knowledge, and decision-making as critical for ensuring sustainable development, particularly in securing energy services. The Alliance, ICRW, and ENERGIA have long recognized the central role of energy access as a gender issue.