Virtual Workshop for SADC Parliamentarians, Tuesday 15 September 2020 – Mainstreaming Gender in the SADC Renewable Energy Sector

The SADC Parliamentary Forum and the Southern African Research and Documentation Centre, in collaboration with the Parliament of Zimbabwe, will host a virtual workshop for SADC parliamentarians on Tuesday, 15 September.

Keynote addresses will be delivered by Hon. Professor Peter H. Katjavivi, Speaker of the National Assembly of Namibia which hosts the SADC Parliamentary Forum, and Hon. Advocate Jacob F. Mudenda, Speaker of the National Assembly of Zimbabwe.

The Secretary-General of SADC PF, Ms Boemo Sekgoma, and the SARDC Executive Director, Mr Munetsi Madakufamba, will also address the virtual workshop.

At least two parliamentarians from each of the SADC Member States are expected to attend, and most have confirmed their participation.

These important discussions will be accessible to participants in three SADC official languages of English, French and Portuguese. The theme is,

Towards Building a legislative agenda for gender mainstreaming in the renewable energy sector for effective implementation of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development

Energy access is a challenge throughout the SADC region and the provision of energy services has different impacts on women and men.

Women face challenges in accessing renewable energy products and technologies because of availability and the prohibitive start-up cost of installing such equipment. As a result, women walk long distances to collect firewood, which is usually heavy, compromising health and wellbeing.

The majority of women in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), especially those who reside in the countryside, face energy-related hurdles and are hampered by extra hours of work due to the type of energy sources available for their cooking and lighting.

In this regard, there is a need for SADC Member States to formulate and implement policies that mainstream these gender differences in renewable energy initiatives, including ways to make renewable energy more accessible to more women.

The main aim of the virtual workshop is therefore to strengthen the capacity of parliamentarians to integrate gender issues into the formulation and implementation of policies and programmes in the SADC Renewable Energy Sector.

The workshop is expected to stimulate dialogue among parliamentarians to champion gender mainstreaming in the RE sector through enactment of the necessary national legislation that will ensure the passage of appropriate legislation and monitoring of implementation.

The workshop participants are drawn from the parliamentary committees responsible for gender and energy issues who can use their constitutional mandate of law making, oversight and representation to promote gender equality and equity in the renewable energy sector through effective implementation of the revised SADC Protocol on Gender and Development.

The Austrian Development Agency has been consistent in their support and contribution to sustainable development in Southern Africa through funding this and other initiatives.

For more information you can contact the following at SARDC: Kizito Sikuka – ksikuka[at]  Nyarai Kampilipili – nkampilipili[at] or Shumirai Govo – sgovo[at] 

The Southern African Research and Documentation Centre is an independent regional knowledge resource centre that focuses on policy issues in southern Africa and undertakes research that informs development. SARDC has a strong track record of experience and expertise in research, collecting, analyzing, writing, documenting and disseminating knowledge from a regional perspective in a way that is accessible for various users, including policy- and decision-makers in the public and private sectors, parliaments, academics, development agencies, the media and the public. SARDC is made up of several institutes that specialize in regional economic integration including energy, trade and infrastructure development; a gender institute; and a regional centre for environment, water resources and climate change; among others.

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The Beyond Inequalities (BI) Gender Institute is the SARDC institute that focuses on informing and tracking implementation of gender commitments in the SADC region, including its flagship publication produced with SADC, the SADC Gender and Development Monitor. The BI Gender Institute aims to be a catalyst and service to the region’s governments, NGOs and agencies, parliaments, the media and the public in the formulation of policy affecting women and men. The gender institute works with the SADC Gender Unit and a network of national partners in the 16 SADC Member States. SARDC has produced a number of studies and publications on this subject, including Efforts and Benefits of Mainstreaming Gender in the SADC Renewable Energy Sector, which is available in English, French and Portuguese.

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