The luncheon was facilitated by Gabriela
Factor from CIG and Monica Maduekwe, coordinator of the ECOWAS Programme on Gender Mainstreaming in Energy Access
(ECOW-GEN), who has been a driving force behind the Decree.
Monica began the luncheon with a
presentation of the provisions of the Decree, and emphasising the success
factors behind its adoption by the region’s technical experts and the steps for
its operationalization throughout the 15 ECOWAS member states, which once
implemented would make gender impact assessment and management plans mandatory for
energy projects. According to Monica, ‘the Regional Directive provides a
template that enables individual member states to strengthen the effectiveness
of their project impact assessment procedures, ensuring that the human rights
of both men and women are respected and that energy projects lead to better
living conditions for all’.
This was followed by a discussion on next
steps and opportunities for supporting the Decree’s implementation, and the
capacity building and awareness raising efforts that it will require.
Some themes to emerge from the day
· *The importance of integrating gender into
other impact assessment methodology and processes such as environmental and
social impact assessment.
· * Capacity-building to ministerial staff,
NGO and local consultants in the African countries as they look to translate the
regional Decree into national legislations.
· * The need to look beyond adverse impacts and
project affected persons to also identifying and measuring project benefits in
terms of gender and development.
· *The need to kick-off the Directive’s
implementation with very high quality assessments in order to provide good
practice and guidance for others to follow.
· *The need to de-mystify the word ‘gender’, by
making it more relatable to men as well; raising the case for a gender approach
as a vehicle for the realisation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the general
advancement in equality, as well as more efficient impact and benefit
management in energy projects.
Bettina Thomsen, Vestas
Birgitte Bang Nielsen, IFU
Carole M. Welton Kaagaard
Elisabeth Kiorboe, WWF
Gabriela Factor, Community Insights
Heidi Hjorth, Copenhagen Social
Jacqeline Tedaldi, Community Insights
Maj Manzac, EKF
Monica Maduekwe, ECREEE
Rikke Carlsen, IFU
more information on ECOW-GEN, a flagship programme under the ECOWAS Centre for
Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), and the Gender Assessment in
Energy Projects Decree, see http://www.ecreee.org