Preventing Gender-Based Violence within Energy Projects

Violence against women and girls is a global epidemic. The World Health Organization estimates that 1 in 3 (35%) of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.

Gender-based violence (GBV)  is important to understand within the development of large infrastructure projects or community-level interventions within the energy sector. Large energy projects can result in negative social outcomes if the health risks, including the negative gender impacts, are not anticipated and incorporated into project planning. An influx of workers and new roads can create new demand for sex workers, which can ultimately increase the prevalence of sex trafficking and disease transmission, especially HIV/AIDS and other sexually-transmitted diseases. On the other hand, increasing energy access, for example, through provision of clean and efficient cookstoves, or by rural electrification, can help prevent GBV.

During the BBL, speakers will share experiences thinking through GBV issues within their organizations and energy projects. The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves has recently published a report reviewing the existing evidence on the relationship between GBV and fuel collection in humanitarian settings. UNCHR will discuss their Safe from the Start project, which provides specialist support to operations to integrate GBV programming into activities such as access to livelihoods, alternative cooking energy and lighting, and trainings. This BBL aims to both foster a dialogue on key GBV issues within the energy sector, and share knowledge from organizations working to address GBV within development projects.

For more information or to register as an external participant, please contact: Sarah Hillware at shillware@worldbank.org