Barely a week after the Pacific Community and the world celebrated the International Women’s Day, the PCREEE joined the staff of the Energy Division of the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communication (MEIDECCC) in Tonga to discuss and to learn about gender issues in renewable energy projects.
Tonga is presently implementing its Outer Islands Renewable Energy Project (OIREP). The project will construct and install solar power systems with a total capacity of 1.32 MWp on 9 outer islands of Tonga. In order to ensure gender issues are fully addressed in the OIREP, a Gender Action Plan (GAP) is part of the project documents and the project funding too. Under the framework of the OIREP’s GAP, a Gender Awareness Training was conducted at Nuku’alofa on 13th March.
“It was an eye opener for me”, said ‘Anasisi Valoa Masima, the only female staff at the PCREEE. “The training gave me the confidence to express myself in a male-dominated office and to also realise I can do whatever I am capable of doing and not restricted by the fact that I am a woman.”
“It was a pleasure to have the PCREEE team in the training”, said Estrellita ‘Alilia Fulivai, the Social Gender Development and Safeguards, Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist with the OIREP. “It was good to have a regional entity with us and hope they can replicate and upscale what they have learnt in other renewable energy projects in the region.”
“It is another milestone in the SPC-Tonga collaborations on the PCREEE,” said Solomone Fifita, Manager of the PCREEE. “The PCREEE participated and learned from Tonga’s effort with its partners and we look forward to applying the experiences in other renewable energy projects in the region.”