The Impact of COVID-19 on Rural Women and Energy Enterprises

Thematic Area: COVID-19, Economic empowerment, Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, Disaster Risk Reduction, Climate Financing
Geographic Area: Sub-regional


The EmPower: Women for Climate-Resilient Societies project, jointly implemented by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and UN Women and kindly supported by the Swedish Development Cooperation Agency, puts gender equality at the heart of climate action. Through UNEP, the project focuses on harnessing renewable energy to build resilient
livelihoods for women in rural Bangladesh, Cambodia and Viet Nam. The project also works on transforming policies and institutions, amplifying evidence and voices and fostering regional commitment in this regard. With these extraordinary circumstances, the project conducted a rapid assessment looking to understand the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the livelihoods and well-being of rural women (farmers and entrepreneurs reliant on natural resources).

This study feeds directly into UNEP’s COVID-19 strategic response- Block 1 (A transformational change for nature and people) and Block 2 (Building back better: Greening fiscal stimulus packages and accelerating sustainable consumption and production). More specifically- the findings and recommendations speak to Block 2B, addressing inequalities with a focus on marginalized and vulnerable groups, in this case being rural women in natural resource sectors and Block 3B and 3C, connecting with broader commitments to climate change and mobilizing support for green jobs. The results of this assessment are informing the UN Country Teams response and recovery as part of the national socio-economic assessments.


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