The issue of sustainable energy development is a key consideration for climate change mitigation and adaptation initiatives, and is an integral component of Africa’s ability to achieve the inter-related economic, social, and environmental aims of sustainable development. Nearly one-third of the global population lacks access to energy-efficient services that do not degrade the ecosystem or contribute to environmental change. Climate change is likely to affect everyone in some way: from rising temperatures, increased floods, and changing rainfall patterns, to the spread of diseases like cholera and malaria (Wamukonya and Skutsch 2001). African countries are likely to be severely affected because of the already high levels of poverty and vulnerability. The impacts of environmental change on men and women are likely to be different with regard to their different roles and responsibilities. This article discusses women’s initiatives in the sustainable energy field, highlighting the efforts of two networks that work globally and regionally to strengthen the role of women in sustainable energy development. I highlight some of the challenges that the networks face, and propose strategies for effective networking and capacity-building.
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