Workshop for gender-sensitive energy cooperatives’ women ambassadors in Georgia
Two workshops were conducted by WECF, the local cooperatives - “Charte Mze” (turn on the sun) and “R_Cleen Energy” and took place in Khoni on 7th and Khobi on 8th of April, 2017. The aim was to build capacity of RE ambassadors on the topics gender sensitive energy cooperatives, women’s participation in decision making process, gender quotas and ways of product marketing.
April 11, 2017
27 female members of the energy cooperatives and local community women owning a solar water heater (SWH) participated. The workshop raised awareness of these women about gender sensitive energy cooperative, for the importance of female leaders in decision-making positions in general and in particular in energy cooperatives. The democratic and community based approach of cooperatives fits very well to empower women in leadership, management, marketing and technologies.
One of the topic was gender quota. After a short background, the cooperatives introduced how they institutionalized a special mechanism, such as gender quota, which means a 40% female share in board and membership (aiming 50%). “The main challenge for “Charte Mze” is women’s involvement in the decision making process and because of that we adopted gender quota” – said Marieta Letodiani, the head of “Charte Mze”.
Another challenge for the cooperatives is product marketing, since sales are still low. During these workshop women ambassador teams were created in each region, who work mainly on marketing and advising households on the economic, social and ecological advantages through installing a SWH. The ambassadors will receive 100 GEL per sold collectors by the cooperatives. The role of ambassadors is very crucial and women take over a leading position to distribute this important technologies. Women are empowered, they will increase women’s membership and increase sales, since women are often seen decision makers in the families that obtain a Solar Water Heater. The technology especially eases the labor burden of women.
WECF plans to do this workshop for the remaining two local cooperatives’ women members and community women in Mtskheta and Akhaltiskhe in the nearest future.
The workshop was considered as a big step forward in the cooperative development and women’s empowerment through the inclusive approach considering technologies, management, leadership and marketing.
The workshops were financially supported by RAJA foundation.