United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Women

3RD MAY 2006 TIME 10.00A.M-1.00P.M
Renewables provide energy for public services. Technology influences the lives of
millions of women both in the north and south. Millions of households, particularly
women in developing countries rely on conventional biomass combustion technology.
When it comes to modern technology development we often narrow it down focussing on
commercial uses or commercialisation of energy supply. This applies to biomass when it
is used for electricity generation. When it goes to national grids it becomes unaffordable
for the poor. There is a tendency to neglect the needs of dominant users of biomass that is
women and the need for providing modern technology to meet the public energy needs;
food and nutritional security. The need for promoting affordable technology to meet the
needs of the poor and women get isolated in the paradigm of energy and technology.
The challenge in front of us is the socialisation of technology to meet the technological
needs of the poor and also the multiple needs of improving technology for generating
clean energy for cooking, processing food and enterprise development. These are not
only the energy needs but also include needs for modern technology to improve the
quality of life of the end users, their health, eradicate their poverty, enhance biomass
production and environmental quality, increase income and the drudgery of securing
energy for common needs.
In increasing the share of Renewables particularly the modern biomass energy that takes
place in many developing countries it is extremely important to base on ground realities
which includes biomass production systems and the social context with a holistic
approach making it opportunistic for those who are in need of affordable, modern and
clean energy.
The technology responsive to the unmet energy needs of women and the poor is a way to
make a progressive change in the world.