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Italy’s support for OSCE activities for the empowerment of women in the energy sector in Central Asia

In line with international action to protect women’s rights, Italy is strongly committed within the OSCE to promote the active participation of women in the energy sector as an essential element of a fair and sustainable energy transition. Thanks to Italy’s financial support, the OSCE launched in 2021 the project “Promoting women’s economic empowerment in the energy sector for energy security and sustainability in Central Asia”.

The project aims to strengthen the role of Central Asian women in managing energy systems by providing them with the skills and knowledge needed to embark on and develop successful professional paths in the renewable energy sector. The energy sector remains one of the most gender-imbalanced economic sectors, both globally and in Central Asia. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), women make up only 22% of the workforce in the energy sector and hold 13.9% of the available top positions.

The project also helps governments and local companies achieve gender equality and integrate the voices and needs of women into their energy policies, with the aim of filling the lack of disaggregated data on female employment in the energy sector and analyzing the employment potential of renewable energies in Central Asia by 2050. Promoting a workforce that allows for diversity and the inclusion of women is essential to ensure the innovation and perspectives necessary to realize the energy transition and combat climate change.

To this end, the OSCE has created the first regional mentoring program for women in the energy sector, supporting 30 Central Asian women in their professional journeys, helping them achieve leadership positions, and encouraging the participation of young women in the energy sector through training and networking initiatives, as well as educational visits on renewable energies in Central Asia.

The OSCE project benefits from the support of various international partners, including the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), The Global Women’s Network for the Energy Transition (GWNET), the Kazakh-German University (DKU), and receives the backing of OSCE missions in the region.