Clean Cooking at Women Deliver
The Alliance participated in Women Deliver 2016 in Copenhagen. The conference was the largest gathering on girls’ and women’s health and rights in the last decade and one of the first major global conferences following the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The conference provided an important platform for discussion and collaboration to promote girls’ and women’s well-being and gender equality around the world. The Alliance was pleased to see that Women Deliver, which has traditionally focused more exclusively on reproductive and maternal health, is expanding its scope to cover a broader set of issues critical for empowerment of girls and women.
While discussions at the conference reflected the increasing recognition of the need for energy access and reduction of unpaid work, the lack of direct focus on household energy and deadly household air pollution also emphasized the need to continue to mainstream the issue within the women and girls’ empowerment and health sectors moving forward. The connection between household energy access resonated with participants whenever it was mentioned, though energy access is not yet fully and commonly understood as an issue imperative to women’s empowerment, gender equality, public health, and other sustainable development issues.
During the conference, the Alliance worked to increase awareness about the role that energy access plays in advancing women’s empowerment and sustainable development. Specifically, increasing access to clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels can deliver dramatic gender and empowerment impacts, while also improving health, protecting the environment, and enhancing livelihoods — all of which help to achieve the SDGs.
The Alliance participated in various events and showcased clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels in the exhibition hall. The Alliance also co-hosted an official side event with UNICEF and Speak Up Africa on collaborative approaches to reduce pneumonia, with a spotlight on clean cooking. This event also launched the Every Breath Counts Coalition, a global campaign to raise awareness around the global burden of pneumonia and to catalyze action against this preventable and treatable disease of the poor and marginalized children of the world.
Entrepreneur and Alliance Partner, Tom Osborn of GreenChar, a Kenyan briquette fuel production and distribution company, won a Social Enterprise Challenge at the conference specifically for “Market Disruption and Social Impact.”
Through opportunities like Women Deliver, the Alliance continues to highlight the need for scaled-up, collective action to address the widespread challenges associated with inefficient cooking and household air pollution. Increased access and adoption of household solutions like clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels are necessary to achieving the SDGs and particularly pertinent to the priority topics of Women Deliver.