Gender Mainstreaming to Strengthen Community Based Renewable Energy Systems in the Philippines
The SIBAT organisation (Sibol ng Agham at Teknolohiya or ‘Wellspring of Science and Technology’) develops Community Based Renewable Energy System (CBRES) projects as part of its work in promoting appropriate technology in the Philippines. The projects provide small, decentralised power supply systems in poor, rural communities to meet energy needs such as household and community lighting, food and crop processing, pumping for potable water and irrigation, and other livelihood-related requirements. The renewable energy systems used in CBRES projects include: micro hydropower systems for electricity generation, milling and water pumping; solar photovoltaic water pumps; and small wind turbines and pumps. The projects are mainly implemented by NGOs and local people’s organisations.
CBRES projects are based on principles of social equity, community participation and environmental justice. SIBAT’s framework for developing CBRES projects includes the empowerment of rural women as a main indicator of relevance and success, but during the first phase of the programme (1998-2007) the projects failed to integrate women’s empowerment processes adequately, focussing primarily on community organisation and technical viability issues. During Phase 2 implementation, SIBAT sought to incorporate gender mainstreaming into the programme and system processes, recognising that women and men are developers and users of energy technologies and that they are affected by technology development in different ways, for example, in the roles they play and benefits they may derive.