Tebogo Movundlela, one of the Women in Wind mentors for this year, and Joyce Lee of GWEC at the Women in Wind launch event in Bilbao on 2 April 2019.

Women in Wind support for SDG7 in BusinessGreen


A recent article in UK media outlet BusinessGreen highlighted the Women in Wind program and the role of gender in UN Sustainable Development Goal 7 to “ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.” This is one of the driving principles of Women in Wind, alongside SDG5 to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.”

In the article, GWEC points out that women are disproportionately affected by a lack of access to cheap and sustainable energy, largely because of the socioeconomic and cultural divide in developing countries where women perform the majority of unpaid labour related to heating, cooking and lighting domestic spaces (ex. gathering firewood, retrieving water, cooking food). This in turn has deleterious effects on women’s exposure to indoor air pollution, other health risks and physical assault, and deprives them of opportunities for generating income, developing a career and leisure time. 

In a bid to take on the gender rights challenge, GWEC have created a program focused on mentorship, learning, and development, sponsored by firms including MHI Vestas, Mainstream Renewable Power, and GE Renewable Energy.Known as the Women in Wind Global Leadership Program, the program focuses on 18 key emerging markets for wind in Latin America, Asia and Africa, where gender inequality remains high thanks to cultural and social barriers, traditional gender roles, and lack of access to education and training, particularly in the STEM disciplines.

As shown in the chart below, some of the program’s key emerging markets for wind, including India, Kenya and Ethioopia, also demonstrate large deficits in energy access.

Countries with the largest numbers of people without energy access between 2010 and 2016, according to the 2018 report “Tracking SDG7” prepared by the IBRD, World Bank, IRENA and other agencies.

More insights on SDG7 can be found in the BusinessGreen article.

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