Durban, South Africa Dec. 13, 2000 SolarQuest® iNet News Service
Energy and Development Research Centre, University of Cape Town, South Africa
The paper describes the unprecedented wave of democratisation that swept South Africa after 1990 and the attempts of previously disadvantaged groups – including women – to have greater input into government planning and particularly the traditionally male-dominated energy sector. The Women’s Energy Group made strenuous efforts to ensure that the new draft national energy policy was gender-sensitive, and that the consultative process included women. However women were rendered invisible in the editorial process. The paper goes on to look at the lost opportunities in the current White Paper to address women, gender and energy issues. The paper distinguishes between women’s practical and strategic gender needs and illustrates how these could be met by different kinds of policies; the paper suggests what these might be. It concludes by considering what still needs to be done and how this conference can contribute to the required action.