Gender workshops for sustainable energy in Lao PDR and Cambodia

Representatives of a diverse set of stakeholders contributed to consultative gender workshops and meetings in Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Cambodia held in December in the framework of two sustainable energy projects funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

The project in Cambodia aims to increase rural electrification and also mitigate greenhouse gas emissions through the promotion of commercial biogas-to-power systems.

The 20 participants at the workshop in Cambodia discussed the gender dimensions of biogas promotion. The interactive workshop benefitted from a presentation by UN Women and the participation of representatives from Cambodia’s Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Women’s Affairs, the Cambodian Women Entrepreneurs Association (CWEA), the Dutch non-governmental organization, SNV, Gender and Development Cambodia, the Royal University of Agriculture, Foreign Trade Bank, and others.

“This workshop was really very helpful to understand in which areas women entrepreneurs can contribute to sustainable energy in Cambodia,” said Keo Mom, the Executive Director of CWEA.

The project in Lao People’s Democratic Republic targets the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the salt and wood processing sectors through pelletization technology.

During the consultative gender workshop, which was supported by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the 18 participants discussed the gender dimensions of solid biofuel projects from different perspectives. Souvanthone Souvannachack, Deputy Head of the Policy and Legislation Division, National Commission for the Advancement of Women, presented the current status of gender equality in the country.

Other participants included representatives from the Renewable Energy and New Materials Institute at the Ministry of Science and Technology, Women Union of Vientiane Capital, Secretariat Commission for the Advancement of Women for Vientiane Capital, Gender Resource Information and Development Centre (GRID), Lao Women’s Union, Lao Furniture Co. Ltd, and National Television from the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.

Jossy Thomas, project manager of the sustainable energy projects in Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Cambodia, said, “Gender equality means creating equal opportunities for women and men by allowing them to contribute on an even footing, economically, politically, socially and culturally.”

The consultative workshops will contribute to the development of gender mainstreaming action plans for the projects that are adjusted to the specific interventions and will ensure that gender dimensions are considered in the activities, allowing both women and men to equally benefit from the interventions.

For more information, please contact:

UNIDO Field Office in Cambodia: Sok Narin, Head of UNIDO Operations, Cambodia email

UNIDO Field Office in Lao PDR: Sommai Faming, Head of UNIDO Operations, Lao PDR email

Jossy Thomas, Industrial Development Officer email

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