The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) joined hands to produce this guide Gender equality in the sustainable energy transition. Combining research findings and case studies, it provides an outline of the key and emerging issues in the ‘gender and energy nexus’ within the context of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 which is about ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
The guide points out that “The dialogue on gender and energy has clearly shifted from women being identified only as victims or as a vulnerable group to their recognition as significant agents of change as consumers, producers, innovators, and decision makers across the energy sector.” Renewable energy, energy efficiency, and circular economy initiatives need to be considered in terms of their interaction with and the inclusion of gender equality, it states. The policies and measures to ensure that women can lead, participate and benefit from the gender-energy nexus are among the significant parts of this report.
The water-energy-food nexus, health, and safety are explored through the lens of energy infrastructure, renewable energy and energy efficiency with each thematic section in the guide ending with an overview of resources and relevant research which points readers to explore more. The need for this guide is justified by the UN findings that three billion people around the world burn solid fuels such as wood and animal dung for cooking and heating, filling their homes with dangerous pollutants; women and girls accounted for six out of every 10 of the 4.3 million premature deaths caused in 2012 by indoor air pollution; and that women are largely sidelined in the industries that produce modern sources of renewable energy.