AKIPRESS.COM - A high-level meeting and field visit aimed to foster young women’s participation in the renewable energy sector took place in Nur-Sultan on 14 July 2022. The Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities organized the event together with the Kazakh German University.
The Kazakh Vice-Minister of Energy, Zhanat Zhakhmetova, the European Union Special Representative for Central Asia, Terhi Hakala, Ambassadors from the donor countries, the Head of the OSCE Programme Office in Nur-Sultan, Volker Frobarth, and a representative of the 2022 Polish OSCE Chairmanship also attended the event.
Together with energy experts, female students from universities across Kazakhstan and Tajikistan discussed how the transition to renewable energy in Central Asia can be an opportunity for empowering women and what role the international community can play in facilitating the transition.
Vice-Minister Zhakhmetova reiterated the country’s ambition to achieve gender equality in the energy sector as well as to become carbon neutral by 2060.
“Women and girls are key agents of development and change”, highlighted Special Representative Hakala. “The EU will keep contributing to women’s entrepreneurship and employment in the green and circular economy, including sustainable energy,” she added.
The students also met with industry representatives, academia, civil society and other international organizations. They heard real-life experiences from those working in the energy sector and connected with like-minded peers, potential employers, female role models and mentors.
The participants also shared their experiences as women studying and working in the energy sector. In particular, they underlined the need to fight gender stereotypes in the energy sector. “Education plays a key part to employ more women in the energy sector,” said Barbara Janusz-Pawletta, Vice-President for International Cooperation and Sustainable Development at the Kazakh-German University.
Following the discussion, the participants went on a field learning experience to the renewable energy polygon of the Nazarbayev University. “With this roundtable and field trip, we are combining networking opportunities, training and practical field visits to fight gender stereotypes and harness the full potential of the energy transition,” said Giulia Manconi, Project Manager of the OSCE Project on Promoting women’s economic participation in the energy sector for energy security and sustainability in Central Asia, co-funded by Germany, Italy, Norway and Poland.