Energy and Transport Ministers to be gender champions


By Elenoa Dimaira

The Pacific’s male dominated energy sector could be more gender balanced in future with energy ministers serving as champions, promoting equality.

An outcome of the 5th Pacific Regional Energy and Transport Ministers Meeting has tasked ministers “serve as champions in promoting gender in the energy sector and for relevant agencies to jointly pursue the goal of a more gender diverse labor force to spearhead women’s empowerment’.

The Efate Outcomes Statement, released after five days of meeting in Port Vila, Vanuatu endeavored Pacific Island nations to commit to mobilising appropriate resources, finances, infrastructure, technology and capacity building for a safe, resilient, green, clean, digital, gender-just maritime transport for the Blue Pacific.

Most women working in the energy and transport sectors held administrative roles and lacked participation in the technical area, the meeting heard.

Ministers also agreed to have a Pacific Energy Gender Initiative (PEGI) Regional Steering Committee that would spearhead the implementation of the Pacific Energy and Gender Network, a programme with the Secretariat Pacific Community to increase women’s engagement as entrepreneurs and professionals in the clean energy employment market.

They also called on all Pacific Island nations and partners to prioritise capacity building and training in the areas of public private partnerships, energy efficiency and data management.

Meanwhile, the ministers have asked donors, private sector and other development partners to urgently mobilise additional funding for the implementation of renewable energy projects in the region.

Papua New Guinea will host the 6th Pacific Regional Energy and Transport Ministers Meeting.