The Road to Johannesburg and Beyond: Networking for Gender and Energy


Karlsson, Gail, and Sheila Oparaocha. 2003. “The Road to Johannesburg and Beyond: Networking for Gender and Energy.” Energy for Sustainable Development 7 (3): 62–7. 

Authors: Gail Karlsson, Sheila Oparaocha


Although the Plan of Implementation adopted at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) contained important provisions regarding the role of energy in sustainable development, it did not adequately reflect the linkages between energy, poverty and traditional gender roles. This was especially noticeable in comparison to the decision on energy adopted at the Ninth Session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-9). ENERGIA, an international network on gender and energy, worked in partnership with other organizations to undertake successful lobbying and advocacy activities to ensure that a gender and energy perspective was reflected in the CSD-9 decision. UNDP, in particular, has been an important partner in raising awareness about the importance of gender-sensitive energy policies. The text of the WSSD Plan of Implementation recognised the importance of gender equality in sustainable development, but did not include specific references to gender issues in the substantive paragraphs of the text. To some extent this reflects the fact that the need for gender sensitivity has become much more widely recognised and accepted. With regard to the provisions concerning access to energy, the negotiators at the WSSD were focused on much more controversial matters. Nevertheless, in order to ensure that gender and energy concerns are included in national and international planning and decision-making processes, ENERGIA and its partners need to develop greater capacity for advocacy and information-sharing. Some of the partnership initiatives launched at the WSSD will provide new opportunities for gender and energy advocates to participate in the design and implementation of sustainable energy activities. For example, the Global Village Energy partnership sponsored by UNDP and the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Programme has emphasised gender sensitivity in energy decision-making, and has included ENERGIA members on its Board of Directors.

Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Energy, International Organizations

Year: 2003

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