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PENGON, Friends of the Earth Palestine

Empowering Women as Sustainable Energy Leaders project

For a decade, chronic electricity shortages in Gaza as a result of the Israeli occupation have undermined already fragile living conditions. In response, PENGON and its member organisations have implemented solar energy projects to bring immediate relief and clean, people-powered electricity to 650 households in the Jordan Valley and 270 in the Gaza Strip.

Credit: PENGON-FOE Palestine

Credit: PENGON-FOE Palestine

Affected population 4.685 million
By Transformative Cities

Energy scarcity impacts women the most in Palestine, and women’s participation in the renewable energy sector is limited. As a result, PENGON-FOE supported women’s participation and leadership, giving women the space to build their skills in communities and organisations and to be more active in lobbying and advocacy around gender laws and energy policies.

A resource guide has been developed to help energy practitioners and professionals mainstream gender into their policies and projects, including information on gender responsive budgeting and gender planning and tools in the energy sector. PENGON has also carried out a review of energy laws, regulations and policies from a gender perspective, and made recommendations to Palestinian authorities on how to build gender needs into energy strategies. Many of the activities have been designed in such a way that they include participation of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the Ministry of Energy.

While ministries are yet to implement changes to policies or laws, people-powered clean energy access and control has nonetheless been generated for over 900 households across Palestine, while a model for women-led clean energy is being replicated across the country and region.

“It’s hard to overstate the importance of PENGON-FOE’s work, as it demonstrates that the climate justice struggle against colonialism and capitalism should be feminist to succeed. As the energy economy of the occupier has a bigger impact on more marginalized women, their influence on energy laws and policies is vital in making sure that the renewable energy systems are more equitable.” – Lavinia Steinfort

This story originally featured in the Atlas of Utopias.

An in-depth article about PENGON-FOE can be read on Open Democracy.

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