Five Ways CCA is Prioritizing Women in Clean Cooking
Globally, women and girls are disproportionally impacted by the lack of access to clean and modern stoves and fuels. As the ones primarily responsible for preparing meals, women and girls suffer from greater exposure to the smoke that emanates from cooking with wood or charcoal. As the main collectors of wood and other fuels, they have less time available to pursue an education or earn a living. Yet, women are not merely victims or aid beneficiaries; they are powerful changemakers, whose agency as household decision makers and consumers, as entrepreneurs and leaders, should not be underestimated.
Access to clean cooking cannot be achieved for all without women being front and center in these efforts. Since its founding in 2010, the Clean Cooking Alliance (CCA) has strived to position women at the forefront of efforts to accelerate access to clean cooking. In 2022, here are five ways CCA is working to ensure their voices are heard:
1. Professional Development for Women in the Sector
CCA launched the second round of its Women in Clean Cooking (WICC) mentorship program, a collaboration with Sustainable Energy for All and the Global Women’s Network for the Energy Transition. Participants are paired with a mentor and, throughout the year-long program, participate in educational and networking activities that emphasize knowledge-sharing, personal development, and professional training.
Apply here by March 31st, 2022!
2. Helping Businesses Adopt Gender-Smart Solutions
CCA’s Gender-Smart Advisory Support helps energy access companies integrate gender equity considerations into their business models. The process highlights critical, gender-informed components that often go overlooked, including how having women in leadership positions and greater employee diversity can enhance company performance.
3. Investing in Women-Focused Solutions
In the same way that carbon credits monetize climate benefits, CCA is working to monetize the substantial time-saving benefits that clean cooking could generate for women. To do this, CCA is partnering with Duke University and C-Quest Capital to develop the framework for a new results-based financing tool called the emPOWERment bond, which will focus on improved biomass cookstove initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa.
In addition, CCA is working to expand gender-lens investing opportunities. In partnership with 2x Collaborative and others, CCA aims to unlock capital for clean cooking initiatives that improve women’s health, safety, and economic empowerment.
4. Spotlighting Women and Youth at Global Events
This year, CCA is participating in several global events prioritizing the critical intersection of energy access, climate change, and gender equality. During the 66th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York, CCA co-hosted a side event with the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up initiative to stress the importance of including women and youth in climate action. CCA will continue emphasizing these important messages at the SEforALL Forum in Kigali, Rwanda; the One Young World Summit in Manchester, England; and the CCA-hosted Clean Cooking Forum 2022 in Accra, Ghana – the flagship event of the clean cooking sector – where gender parity on stage is a topmost priority. (Subscribe to CCA’s newsletter for the latest updates on news and events.)
5. Amplifying Women Voices Through Storytelling
As part of CCA’s efforts to recognize women’s tremendous contributions to clean cooking, CCA joined the United Nation Foundation’s #EqualEverywhere campaign with a story about Ellen Boamah, a researcher in Ghana and a trailblazer for women in the sciences. CCA also interviewed Esther Altorfer and Betty Ikalany, two leaders in clean cooking companies who were sponsored by CCA to participate in a year-long professional development program. Throughout 2022, CCA will continue profiling women who are shaping the clean cooking sector, including through CCA’s Leadership Series and Women Energizing Change Series.