Global Resources

Gender Auditing Energy Policy in Africa: the Case of Botswana

Author: N. Wright
Publication Date: Jan 2008
Women in Botswana are generally excluded from decision and policy-making in the country's energy sector.This paper argues that this gap needs to be addressed because the diverse gender roles and the inequalities in energy access by men and women have consequences for energy use, needs and priorities. It presents findings from an audit that set out to identify gaps in national energy policy that could hamper the achievement of gender-related goals and objectives. The audit found that female-headed households are generally poorer than those headed by men, and are less likely to have access to electricity. In male-headed households women have little decision-making power when it comes to grid-connectivity, despite being the main users of energy within the household. However, it found that women are more involved in decisions made on fuel wood collection. In the case of energy providers, 90 percent of the organisations interviewed did not have any gender structures, or gender mainstreaming policies, plans and programmes in place. The audit also revealed a lack of financial resources to support gender programme and policies

The paper's recommendations include:
? Gender planning, awareness and mainstreaming is needed in energy-related organisations in order to develop long-term gender sensitive policies and programmes
? A policy should be formulated with the goal of establishing a sustainable funding strategy to support gender-responsive programmes
? Policy makers need to stress the linkages between gender, the provision of modern energy services and attainment of the MDGs,