Uganda has rolled out a number of initiatives that will see more women gain access to clean energy, which will in turn boost progress toward gender equality and increase women’s participation in the economy.
According to the State Minister for Gender Peace Regis Mutuuzo, her ministry has already doled out clean energy solutions and cooking stoves to nearly 146,000 beneficiaries.
The minister, who was speaking at a Feb. 23 virtual workshop that was organized by the African Development Bank, Climate Investments Fund and the International Network on Gender and Sustainable Energy (ENERGIA) – noted that the ministry is continuously strengthening cooperation with the energy ministry to ensure women’s effective participation in the economy.
“Access to clean energy solutions and energy for the household will improve access to home lighting,” Mutuuzo said, according to an official statement.
The Minister of State for Energy and Mineral Development Simon D'Ujanga said his ministry is implementing projects to expand women’s access to clean energy solutions and tackle gender violence.
“The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development has installed a committee on energy equality and statistics as part of efforts to achieve its mandate,” the minister said.
“Through the committee, the ministry is able to carry out the task of monitoring gender-based violence, affecting women, girls and children during the implementation of energy development projects in Uganda.”
Due to such policies, officials say, Uganda was on track to meet UN Sustainable Development Goal 5, which concerns gender equality.
At the event, officials launched the new Gender and Sustainable Energy country brief for Uganda. Participants also explored strategies to place gender equality at the centre of government policy reforms and implementation, reads the official statement.
Beneficiaries of the energy initiatives are receiving energy-efficient cooking stoves that cut harmful emissions and eliminate the need to gather fuel such as firewood. The ministry is also working to enhance women’s business opportunities in the energy sector.
The Ugandan gender and energy sector country brief is intended to track these efforts to ensure that women and girls are able to access energy at reasonable prices and that opportunities in the sector are accessible to women.
Independent gender expert Jane Mpaji, who carried out an extensive study on the status of gender mainstreaming in Uganda, said boosting women’s employment and participation in decision-making, data collection and improved impact assessments should form the basis of policy reforms.
The Bank, CIF and ENERGIA have developed Gender and Energy country briefs for Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania that provide recommendations on effective integration of gender in energy planning, implementation and monitoring.