Dialogue forum with South African expert on sustainable development Kulthoum Omari: ,,Gender & Renewable Energies – a southern African perspective“ Monday 10 September 2012, 7pm, Galerie Listros

Within the framework of the project “Paradoxes of Sustainability – How socially equitable are ‘green’ technologies really?” AfricAvenir invites you to a dialogue forum on Monday 10 September 2012 at 7 pm with South African expert on sustainable development Kulthoum Omari on the topic ,,Gender & Renewable Energies – a southern African perspective".

Sustainable development and renewable energies are of universal concern, including on the African continent. To this day 2 billion people are deprived of electrical access. “Green” technologies appear to be the resolution as they function independently from national electricity networks. However, who has access to these technologies? Do women and men in southern Africa possess equal rights in this context? How do women and men employ and adapt renewable energies? How do these influence their everyday life?

During the dialogue forum the expert on energy issues Kulthoum Omari will illuminate the consequences of climate change for energy extraction in rural areas of Africa and will pose the question of whether renewable energies are an alternative in these areas? Does the construction of these technologies in African countries actually benefit the poor and, in particular, women? Or do renewable energies remain a luxury good? They could be the solution to the challenges faced first and foremost by women in rural areas, since climate change has made it difficult for them to extract energy from fundamental sources such as firewood and coal. The disadvantages for women compared to men are not only caused by increased difficulty of access to electricity, but also by insecure common land rights, less profitable revenues and weak participation in agricultural networks. 

Omari will discuss how and which “green“ technologies are being used in order to deal with droughts, lack of fresh water supply and electricity shortages. If women and men are affected differently by climate change, does this lead to varying ways of using these technologies between the two genders? And do renewable energies possess the potential to combat poverty and to raise the living standard of women living in rural areas? Or do they serve only to strengthen the social and economic gap within society because only the richer population class can afford these commodities? Kulthoum Omari will present the situation in southern Africa.

Subsequently, expert on gender and energy issues Gotelind Alber will contribute her experiences in Germany on the topic. Alber is a member of the board of GenderCC – Women for Climate Justice (Berlin). The audience is invited to engage in discussion with the guest speakers. 

Kulthoum Omari, Programme Manager for Sustainable Development at the Heinrich-Böll- Stiftung in South Africa since 2011, focuses primarily on the topics of climate change and gender in southern Africa. Her focal point is to empower politically the role of rural southern African women and to bring about eco-political change. In one of her studies, using the example of two villages in Botswana, she investigates how women adapt their lives to the difficulties of climate change. On the basis of her investigation she has drafted recommendations for government action, given that the implementation of sustainable development strategies has revealed itself as a challenging political and structural transaction in the countries of southern Africa.  

In the course of the project “Paradoxes of Sustainability – How socially equitable are ‘green’ technologies really?” the impact of the “Energetic Turn” (Energiewende) on Africa will be evaluated. The question whether these alternative forms of energy production are accessible to African countries and how they are utilized shapes the context of this dialogue forum.

The dialogue forum takes place in cooperation with the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung and will be held in English. 

Monday 10 September 2012, 7 pm
Galerie Listros
Kurfürstenstr. 33
10785 Berlin 
U1 Kurfürstenstraße | U2 Bülowstraße 
Bus M19, M48, M85 


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