Women Empowerment in Egypt’s Energy Transition: Progress and Challenges

Women Empowerment in Egypt’s Energy Transition: Progress and Challenges

Globally, women account for only 16% of the global energy sector workforce, while men make up the remaining 84%. In the renewable energy sector, women’s representation is slightly higher, at around 32% of the workforce, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). In Egypt, women’s representation in the energy sector is a focus of attention, particularly in the context of the country’s transition to a green economy. However, women represent only 22% of work force in the oil and gas sector, and 32% of workforce in the renewable energy sector, according to AlMarsad AlMasry.

Challenges Facing Women in Energy

Women comprise around 48.6% of the population in Egypt with 50.74 million out of 104.26 million total population in January 2023, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS). Yet, women’s participation in the energy sector remains low. Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek El Molla, stated in 2021 that women represent 30% of the total workforce in the oil and gas sector and 33% of the total senior management in the sector.

Women in the energy sector face several challenges, including gender bias and stereotypes, lack of representation, limited access to opportunities, work-life balance challenges, and implicit workplace culture, according to a World Bank report. Therefore, the Egyptian government has been adapting several initiatives and programs to empower women in the energy sector.

Initiatives and Programs

The Egyptian government, particularly the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources (MoPMR), has taken several initiatives to empower women in the energy sector. These efforts are part of a broader commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment in the country.

Moreover, the Ministry has implemented gender-sensitive energy policies, providing financial incentives for women in the energy market, enacting laws supporting the private and public sectors, and fostering international connections, according to an article published by the United Nations Development Program (UNPD).

The MoPMR has supported events like “She is Energy,” which brings together distinguished female figures across the energy industry to discuss women’s abilities and roles in the sector. The Ministry has also supported the Women in Energy Network, which aims to develop female talent in the energy sector and promote equal opportunities for all. This comes as the network helps connect women in the energy sectors, providing a platform for connection, inspiration, and professional development, catering to both newcomers and experienced leaders.

The Ministry’s attention to women in the Egyptian oil and gas sector has been demonstrated through the acknowledgment and celebration of their pivotal roles and notable accomplishments within the industry. This recognition is prominently showcased during a dedicated conference for women at the Egypt Energy Show (EGYPES), the nation’s premier energy conference. During this event, the Minister pays tribute to exemplary female professionals across all levels of employment.

The EGYPES event serves as a platform for prominent female leaders to convene and engage in discussions on pertinent topics, including the obstacles and hurdles encountered by women throughout their career journeys. Moreover, it provides a forum for proposing effective solutions to address these challenges and foster gender inclusivity within the sector.

Looking Forward

Meanwhile, renewables and Green Hydrogen technologies open the door for more women to contribute to the sector. This comes as the Egyptian government has been working to enhance women’s roles in the green energy sector as part of its vision for 2050.

The energy transition in Egypt holds significant potential for job creation, particularly in the fast-growing renewable energy sector, while also generating new roles across the wider energy landscape. A recent World Bank study showed that “from the lowest to highest scenarios, the impact will be creating 1.4 to 3.8 million net jobs in Egypt alone over the period of 2020-2050.”

Thus, despite the challenges within the sector, women are encouraged to join the oil and gas sector as well as the various energy sectors in Egypt. Accordingly, as Egypt is working on boosting its renewable energy and green hydrogen activities, women are anticipated to have more opportunities for career growth.

 

Sarah Samir 3425 Posts

Sarah has been writing in the oil and gas field for 8 years. She has a Bachelor Degree in English Literature. She has three years of experience in the banking sector.

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