Equal Energy Access Could Help Empower Women: Discussion


JAKARTA-THE JAKARTA POST. Women’s access to affordable energy, especially those who live in rural areas, may reduce the time they spent on domestic tasks, leading to improved health, self-development and entrepreneurship opportunities, a discussion on equal access to energy has concluded.

“The use of energy should be equal for both genders,” Maritje Hutapea, the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry’s director general for new and renewable energies, said at Tuesday’s discussion in Jakarta.

The event was part of the Pojok Energi (Energy Corner) discussion series held by the Institute for Essential Services Reform in cooperation with the Strategic Partnership for Green and Inclusive Energy, with support from Hivos Southeast Asia.

Tri Mumpuni Iskandar, director of the non-profit People Centered Economic and Business Institute (IBEKA), shared Maritje’s opinion.

“With greater access to energy, around 98 percent of women’s workloads in rural areas, such as collecting firewood or water, will be reduced,” she said.

Tri said that even installing pumps or a modern stove at home could allow women more time for themselves. The extra time could be used for organizing women’s or other community groups, creating a home business or pursuing other activities that could improve their capacity.

“Gender equality in the context of energy access is about who can access energy and how they empower themselves,” said Asclepias Rachmi Indriyanto from the Indonesian Institute for Energy Economics.

Indonesia achieved a 93 percent electrification rate this year, but 5 million households, or 18 million people, still do not have access to electricity. Meanwhile, 20 million households do not have access to clean fuel for cooking.

Marlistya Citraningrum, the sustainable energy transition program manager at the Institute for Essential Services Reform, said that improving access to energy should be an inclusive effort that considered the conditions in each region.

“There is no one-size-fits-all strategy to improve access to energy,” she said. (ebf)

Source: The Jakarta Post