OSCE Empowers Rural Women in Mountainous Areas of Tajikistan Through Clean Energy Access and Training

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In the mountainous areas of Tajikistan – as in many rural communities worldwide – energy poverty disproportionately impacts women’s lives. Rural women often still carry out the bulk of traditional household chores. This heightens their exposure to indoor air pollution derived from the use of solid fuels for cooking and heating, or exposes them to the safety risks of walking long distances to collect biomass and fuelwood.

To help overcome these challenges, the OSCE provided 20 households in the Yaghnob Valley of Tajikistan with off-grid clean energy technologies and trained the women whose homes received the new technology. The trainings sought to build the capacity of the recipients so they could make the best and most efficient use of these devices, ultimately enabling them to drive positive change within their communities.

The three villages of Khishortob, Qul, and Gharmen, where the households are located, lie at the altitude of up to 2,700 m above sea level and are isolated from central energy networks. They rely on firewood, manure and coal for their cooking and heating needs. The installed small-hydro plants are sufficient only for lighting during the spring and summer period. From October to May, the villages are closed off from the rest of the country due to heavy snowfall and avalanches.

“Clean energy technologies, such as the solar parabolic cookers and mini-solar power stations provided by the OSCE, would alleviate some of the hardships these communities face and have the potential to empower women as agents of change, while also having a positive impact on the environment,” says Giulia Manconi, the OSCE Project Manager.This mission was the result of a collaboration between the OSCE, the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources of the Republic of Tajikistan, the municipality of Jamoat Anzob, and the implementing partner PO “Nerui Toza”. It was organized within the framework of the OSCE Project on Promoting women’s economic participation in the energy sector for energy security and sustainability in Central Asia, co-funded by Austria, Germany, Italy, Norway, and Poland. The project, including installation and training, took place from 7 to 18 August 2023.

Source: OSCE