Gender Mainstreaming in the Botswana Power Corporation
The Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) has recently launched a gender mainstreaming process with the aim of ensuring that gender is considered during planning and implementation of energy projects and programmes. This project was conceived after an audit of energy policies and programmes conducted by the Gender and Energy Network of Botswana (GENBO) revealed that the energy sector in Botswana was not gender-sensitive and the energy policies and programmes were not gender-responsive. Although some effort has been made at a policy level, such as the Draft National Energy Policy that calls for the inclusion and consideration of gender differences in energy planning, many factors in the energy sector are still insensitive to gender issues. In relation to energy access, reports indicate that electricity connection rates in rural areas still remain very low in Botswana. High connection costs, often considered prohibitive, result in many poor households being unable to connect to electricity. Levels of poverty are highest among female-headed households, and as a consequence, female-headed households in rural areas find it difficult to connect to electricity, resulting in low connection rates for this group.