Through partnership with the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), the Ministry of Mines and Energy says significant progress was made towards validating the National Action Plan, plus an Act seeking legislation of gender mainstreaming in the energy sector.
During a one-day technical assessment working session held in Monrovia, the Energy Ministry gathered that actors in the production, transmission, distribution and regulation of energy power have appreciable levels of gender inclusion which is welcoming as required by national gender policies within ECOWAS States.
Providing progress reports in support of the National Action Plan (NAP), institutions including Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission (LERC), Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), the Petroleum Regulatory Authority (LPRA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), among others, said in adherence to the gender inclusion mandate, they have put into place frameworks that are promoting and encouraging the employment and hiring of females.
Particularly, the LEC told the validation exercise that they have established a Gender and Social Inclusion Department (GSIU). Speaking further, the Electricity Corporation’s representative divulged that the LEC has begun engaging with Universities and other learning institutions to recruit technical students in the area of energy.
The Swedish Embassy, for their part, assured the Liberian Government at the Gender mainstreaming in energy sector validation workshop that they remain committed to supporting the inclusion of women in Energy, while ECOWAS, through its ECREE Gender and Energy Program Coordinator, Madam Mmica Maguekwe, commended Liberia for being supportive amongst counterparts to the work of ECREE in the Regional Bloc.
Madam Maguekwe specifically pointed out that ECOWAS’ concern is about working hard to create a conducive environment for job creation and role-play as decision-makers in the energy sector. However the ECOWAS representative intimated that social norms make women's participation in the energy sector challenging because it's predominately seems as a job sector only for males.
In a proxy statement from Minister of Mines and Energy, Gesler E. Murray, the Assistant Minister for Exploration, Rexford Sartuh assured that the Government remains committed to full validation of the National Action Plan, and the Act which when enacted into law will legitimize prioritizing the services of female technicians in the energy sector. To actualize commitment to the mandate on gender sensitivity in workplaces as espoused by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MGCSP), Exploration Minister Sartuh disclosed that in 2019 [October] the Ministry (MME) set up the Gender & Social Inclusion Unit which currently has Madam Martina Hosna-Janeta as Director.
Professor Jacob S. Sandike, lead facilitator and national consultant to the Mines and Energy Ministry, and ECREEE, is supporting the development of the Action Plan and the Gender Assessment Act.