TANGSEN Partners Learn New Skills of Lobbying and Advocacy on Energy and Gender Issues
Tanzania Gender and Sustainable Energy Network (TANGSEN) in 22nd to 25th April 2013 conducted a capacity building workshop on Lobbying and Advocacy in Gender and Energy in order to train its partners on how to influence gender issues in policy and decision making process to decision makers at national and district levels. The workshop was held in Dar es Salaam city, at the Sustainable Energy and Development Centre (SEDC) Mbezi Juu. The training was funded by HIVOS of the Netherlands.
The workshop was attended by 18 participants including 12 women and 6 men who are National Gender and Sustainable Energy Network (NGSEN) members drawn from various organizations across the country. The workshop was facilitated by 2 facilitators, Ms. Gisela Ngoo from NGSEN and Dr. Andrew Mushi from Mzumbe University, Dar es Salaam Campus. The workshop is part of the activities mentioned in NGSEN Strategic Plan.
This workshop was prepared after the realization that most energy practitioners lack appropriate skills and tools for lobbying and advocacy for gender and energy projects. During the training, the methodologies used included presentations by the trainers, experience sharing by the participants, group work and feedback in plenary; use of case studies and summarizing the key issues by the trainers.
For a period of four days, the members of the network were acquitted with a new knowledge and skills of lobbying and advocacy, ability to use different tools of lobbying and advocacy, filling the gap and use of the media to send the right message to the different hierarchies from the local to the national levels.
The workshop discussed different gender and energy issues including different international agreements ratified by Tanzania, which give mandate to mainstreaming gender in the development programmes and projects. These, among others include:
The 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action: Governments and other actors should promote an active and visible policy of mainstreaming a gender perspective into all policies and programmes, so that, before decisions are taken, an analysis is made of the effects on women and men, respectively.
MDG 3: Promote gender equality and empower women to: eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and in all levels of education no later than 2015.
Rio +20 Conference in 2012; The Future we Want: Article 31: Recognize that gender equality and empowerment of women are important for sustainable development and reaffirm commitments to ensure women's equal rights, access and opportunities for participation and leadership in the economy, society and political decision-making.
Article 125- stress that sustainable energy services are essential to social inclusion and gender equality, and that energy is also a key input to production.
At the National level, the following are the frameworks gender consideration in the energy sector:
The 2003 National Energy policy reflect gender: Example of gender text in the policy document are 1) men and women have different demands on energy, due to the existing socio-cultural and traditional roles, 2) there is a gender imbalance at various levels of planning and decision-making within the energy sector and 3) all stakeholders within the energy sector need to participate and take deliberate sensitization actions to encourage women participation in energy related education, training programmes and projects, planning, decision-making and, not least, energy policy implementation. 4) Promote gender equality within the energy sub-sector both on the demand and supply. 5) Facilitate education and training for women in all energy aspects, 6) Promote awareness on gender issues concerning men and women's social roles in the energy sector, including training on appropriate technologies.
The National Strategy (2005) aim to achieve gender equality and equity in Tanzania Provide guide to implementers to incorporate gender concerns into their policies, plans, strategies, programmes and projects with a view to implementing commitments at international, regional and national level. Gender focal points or gender units has been established in most sectors (energy sector (MEM) included) and departments
During advocacy training session, the participants noted importance of analyzing the policies, prepare a right message, using media, negotiation and communication skills during lobbying and advocacy. They observed a need to understand media and which one could send the right message to the audience you want. It is better also to understand the owners and their interest (ideology, processes, etc.) and understand the media tools available. When dealing with media, it is better to liaison with contact person and not any Journalist.