United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Women

Good afternoon, my name is Dr. Jyoti Parikh and I am Executive Director of Integrated Research and
Action for Development (IRADe) from India. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for giving Women?s group
this opportunity to present our view point. One of the imperatives for sustainable development is intragenerational
equity. Thus one of first priorities should be to provide access to modern energy to 2.3
billion poor, especially women.
Even among poor, women have different role and responsibilities.
Women and girls struggle daily to gather biomass, transport them, process them and finally cook with
them. This is back-breaking work which is unpaid, unrecognized and undervalued. To look at it
differently, they are managing a large amount of energy e.g. biomass collected by women and girls
provides 30% of energy in India, second only to coal.
Unfortunately there are hardly any inputs of technology, investment and management in the biomass
sector. Whether it is coal, oil, gas or renewable energy, all energy sources need investment,
management and technology. However, biomass which is an important energy source in developing
countries is given very little state support.
Resources need to be committed to ensure sustainability. Policy and time-bound programmes are
needed to ensure that each year some targets are achieved that free women from drudgery so that their
time is freed for more fulfilling and income generating activities that lead to poverty reduction. (These
statistics should be reflected in energy statistics on a regular basis).
However, we propose not to think of women as problems but as solutions. Current role of women as
energy providers can be transformed into suitable micro enterpreuners if they can manage fuel wood or
oil-seed plantations, dispense kerosene and LPG, assemble solar panels, build improved cook stoves
and help rural electrification process by helping read meters, collect bills and doing minor repairs.
I conclude by saying that we request gender specific policies, programmes, capacity building on a
larger scale and with investments and targets to eliminate back breaking drudgery that a billion women
go through everyday.
Thank you Chair, for this opportunity to address the floor on behalf of Women?s Major Group.