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Urban planning tends to reflect society’s dominant values, which are typically neither inclusive nor equitable. Cities have long reflected traditional gender roles and the gendered division of labour, marginalizing women and girls from public spaces. This is because historically, cities have been planned and designed by men with little knowledge or concern for how their decisions affect women. Street lighting systems (SLS) are an extension of this marginalization and are still planned and designed without considering gender-differentiated uses of urban spaces.
These issues are exacerbated in many developing regions, including sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where cities are dimly lit due to the use of non-efficient street lighting technologies, financial challenges, deficient operation, and maintenance and limited in-country technical capacity for planning and operations, among other things.
With cities joining networks such as the Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa (CoM SSA) that help to build knowledge and internal capacity regarding sustainable energy projects, there is an opportunity to design and implement energy-efficient street lighting projects that are gender responsive.
CoM SSA partner, the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) has carried out a study to develop useful gender-sensitive tools and methodologies for municipalities and other stakeholders involved in identifying, preparing, implementing and monitoring urban public-lighting projects. Building on the findings of this study, the webinar brings together energy and gender experts to share their perspectives on the challenges and actions needed to have gender responsive street lighting in sub-Saharan African cities.
Access the French version of the Guide here.