One of the questions that always come up when we talk about energy in feminist spaces is “why is gender overlooked in the energy sector?”. While its importance is ignored, in academic circles, there has been extensive research about the differentiated attitudes that women* and men* have when it comes to energy-related initiatives as well as the gendered impacts of those initiatives.
We believe that the reason why WLINTA people (stands for women, lesbian, intersex, non-binary, transgender and agender people) are underrepresented in the energy sector and gendered lived realities ignored in energy policy making is because of deeply imbedded patriarchal norms that impede their participation and representation in the energy sector. From the moment folks gain understanding of the world they are assigned certain gender norms and they are confronted with gender scripts that must be followed to fit into societal expectations. The division of technological (typically male) and non-technological tasks (typically female) within households is a bright example of the stereotypes that people conform into. In addition, care work is a “weight” that women* still largely bare which creates time scarcity that could otherwise be devoted to energy related activities and bounds women* to the house, where they are increasingly confronted with energy scarcity and the management of these scarce resources.
The above paragraph, shares some of the topics that were discussed during an interview initiated by Women Engage for a Common Future (WECF) between Elena Georgiadi (GenderCC coordinator, gender expert of the DIALOGUES consortium) and Marilys Louvet & Pia Wieser from WECF working in an EU project called EUWES (Empowering Underrepresented Women in the Energy Sector) and a study on gender and energy poverty. We believe that a continuous exchange of resources and knowledge is of high importance, thus, we are aiming to participate in the trainings that will be conceptualized for EUWES after the finalization of the interviews with different stakeholders in the energy sector (such as the one conducted with Elena Georgiadi). These interviews have the main purpose of understanding the experiences of energy experts (among other stakeholders) and the gender and energy-related barriers that exist in the field. The DIALOGUES project has a long experience in that area since GenderCC has a very similar focus.
We want to thank WECF for initiating an interview with GenderCC and special thanks to Marilys and Pia for the wonderful conversation. We are hoping for more fruitful exchanges in the future.
About the author:
Elena Georgiadi (she/they) Project Manager at GenderCC – Women for Climate Justice
Edited by Pia Wieser (she/her) Project Manager at WECF
GenderCC – Women for Climate Justice