PFAN recognizes not only our responsibility but also the opportunity to contribute towards the overarching goal of gender equality and the empowerment of women within both our internal operations and regional activities.
This year, PFAN’s focus was put on capacity building of the network, better understanding the needs and developing trainings. For this purpose, an organizational gender assessment was conducted to identify current practices, understandings, challenges and priorities. Based on the findings, PFAN, together with Value for Women, developed a pilot training with a group of six PFAN Advisors, which resulted in a series of masterclasses on Gender Lens Advisory Services for the whole network.
Through the masterclasses, the advisors gained an understanding of definitions around Gender Lens Advisory Services, the business case for gender diversity, and the application of the Gender Lenses to climate change mitigation and clean energy projects and businesses. Moreover, the trainings include practical lessons on how to apply a Gender Lens to the PFAN Journey and the advisory services aimed at entrepreneurs. The roll out of the trainings across all PFAN regions was completed in Q1 2022. Initial findings from trainings showed that the understanding of how gender-inclusive business practices and gender lenses can help entrepreneurs with their business challenges and improve their business. Furthermore, the trainings increased confidence amongst advisors in the ability to encourage projects to become more gender-inclusive.
Gender Focal Points
To ensure that the learnings of the trainings are integrated in the coaching process and the gender mainstreaming efforts are disseminated across the network, PFAN has established Regional Gender Focal points. The Regional Gender Focal Points will be driving gender inclusion initiatives in the regions and ensure long term and sustainable impacts to PFAN projects.
The role of women in renewable energy and climate finance can never be overlooked considering their significant contribution to the implementation of climate strategies.
Agnes Ansah Osei is the Regional Gender Focal Point for West Africa. She holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Law and has previously worked with Goldfields Ghana Limited as an Environmental Officer and is currently an independent ESG Consultant based in Ghana.
“The role of women in renewable energy and climate finance can never be overlooked considering their significant contribution to the implementation of climate strategies. Being deliberate about gender mainstreaming has therefore become critical in climate finance. Having worked with PFAN for almost six years, I have seen how deliberate we are about gender mainstreaming. The strategy to increase our gender efforts will impact positively on our pipeline of projects and finance facilitation for investor-ready projects.”
It is widely demonstrated that businesses which are gender-sensitive are more successful and resilient in the long run as women can bring another point of view and perspective.
Cécile Dahome was appointed as the Regional Gender Focal Point for Southeast Asia. She is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Sevea in Cambodia and has been working and consulting in the field of business and project development, start-up acceleration and access to financing in the sectors of clean energy, adaptation and mitigation, WASH and agriculture for more than 12 years.
“It is widely demonstrated that businesses which are gender sensitive are more successful and resilient in the long run, as women can bring another point of view and perspective. They can have access to targeted sources of finance as well. Yet, the number of these projects is still limited. Supporting them, but supporting also other businesses in Southeast Asia to become more gender sensitive, is one of my key objectives and challenges as part of my role as Gender Focal Point.”
Gender Responsive Case Study
Techno-Hill Engineering, Ltd
Techno-Hill Engineering, Ltd
''Our vision is to provide affordable clean energy to improve lives in rural Myanmar.''
PFAN has also intensified outreach and connections to other initiatives such as the Accelerating Women Climate Entrepreneurs (AWCE) Initiative and is featured in their report on “Strengthening Ecosystems for Women Climate Entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa”. Moreover, we have contributed to the Gender and Energy Compact led by UNIDO, ENERGIA and GW-NET and joined the Coalition.
In partnership with the EmPower project, a joint initiative by UN Women and the UN Environment Programme active in Bangladesh, Cambodia and Vietnam, PFAN held a virtual event to promote awareness of gender integration in climate resilience and clean energy, and to link women entrepreneurs in the EmPower and PFAN networks with financial institutions and investors, with the aim to scale up investments for women in the renewable energy sector.
The collaboration with AWEDI, the African Women in Energy Development Initiative, has been further increased through a panel discussion with PFAN Advisors on financial literacy and wealth management for resilience among women in the energy sector. The event saw about 40 participants ranging from students to female professionals in the energy sector.
Furthermore, in September 2021 PFAN organised a workshop titled “Embedding gender-smart practices in climate entrepreneurship”. The objective of the workshop was to raise awareness, influence, and inspire entrepreneur support organisations (ESOs) to embed gender-smart practices in their work. 29 participants spread over ESOs, investors and donors discussed the question how to practically incorporate a gender lens in their programmes and investments.
This workshop was a practical step to move further UNIDO and PFAN’s commitment made at the GenderSmart Investing Summit 2021 to call upon organisations to step up capacity building efforts for organisations involved in gender lens investing and entrepreneurial support for clean energy and climate change adaptation businesses.
Finally, PFAN launched a gender campaign on Social Media: This entailed regular posts about success stories of PFAN-supported women-led businesses, articles about PFAN’s gender activities and events, educational posts about the four gender lenses and gender mainstreaming as well as an e-mail marketing campaign #PFANforEqualitycampaign.
Moreover, we launched the Gender Responsiveness video outlining how PFAN contributes towards gender equality and the empowerment of women through the network of expert advisors and how PFAN addresses gender disparities in our work.