ICRW, Solar Sister, and Self Employed Women’s Association Announce Commitment to Action at Clinton Global Initiative

Press Release Subtitle

Partnership to focus on evaluating women-led climate action and women's economic empowerment initiatives

September 19th, 2022
Media contact: Joe Shaffner, Director of Global Communications, ICRW, [email protected]

Today, at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), and Solar Sister announced a partnership to answer CGI’s call for Commitments to Action.

ICRW, SEWA, and Solar Sister are partnering to demonstrate, for the first time, the effectiveness of women-led, managed and women-centered climate action. The collaboration, assembled by ICRW, will establish a large-scale research and impact portfolio that will document the impact women-led and centered climate action has on climate change and efforts to improve women’s economic empowerment – the compounding benefits of which reach the families and address various United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Every single one of us must take action to address the climate crisis,” said Peggy Clark, CEO and President at ICRW. “The effects of climate change are compounding daily – as witnessed by the flooding in Pakistan, increased fire risk across North America, and food scarcity worldwide. Women are at the center of progress on every major issue of our time: health equity, sustainable food systems, economic recovery, and climate change.”

To effectively respond to the climate crisis, policymakers need rigorous data that demonstrates climate adaptation and what works, how and in which situations. The research and impact portfolio will be the first-ever work to assess and document the power of large-scale and collective women-led and managed energy and agriculture climate action. The work that lies ahead will have three key components in common: (1) women are and must be front-and-center in collective actions for the benefit of their communities; (2) projects undertaken through the partnership will offer powerful economic outcomes, increase women’s assets, and stimulate local economies; and (3) projects are intended to have significant reach and dramatically reduce carbon emissions.

ICRW, SEWA, and Solar Sister will start with two energy-related projects, evaluating SEWA’s work in Gujarat, India and Solar Sister’s work in East Africa. 

“SEWA works towards using clean and green energy to address the issue of poverty,”  said Reema Nanavaty, Director of SEWA. “We have worked with over 7,000 informal sector women workers to help achieve an appropriate shift towards environmental sustainability, decent work, just transaction, reducing poverty and gender inequality, and building resilience. We support salt pan workers with solar pumps and energy-efficient equipment for the home and workplace. SEWA believes that data-based decisions will help bring informal sector women workers visibility in climate adoption and inform policymakers as the movement transforms. These data-based decisions and data-backed solutions will help SEWA move towards its 50 year resolution to build cleaner sky, cleaner air, and cleaner water solidarity and sisterhood through climate action.”

“Solar Sister Entrepreneurs are amazing women who are tackling the climate crisis head on by bringing clean energy to their rural communities,” says Katherine Lucey, Executive Director of Solar Sister. “Over 8,000 entrepreneurs are creating a green revolution across sub-Saharan Africa. They are ensuring everyone everywhere has access to clean energy and economic opportunity needed to thrive with dignity. They are the front lines of creating a more just, equitable, and sustainable future for us all.” The clean energy entrepreneurs sell solar products to last-mile communities as alternatives to diesel, kerosene, carbon cookstoves, and wood-burning ovens.

The data and results from the collaboration will be presented to high-level policymakers every six months. The need for policy change and impact is now, and so are investments in the women leading change.

“The commitment made today,” said Peggy Clark, “is inspired by climate leaders – Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and climate justice leader, and Rachel Kyte, Dean of the Fletcher School and former Climate Change Envoy to the United Nations Secretary General. We are thrilled to have them advise and support this important work starting today at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting. The collaboration that lies ahead will take fierce determination, as well as the buy-in and support of governments, donors, and partners worldwide. Addressing the climate crisis will require all of us, and time is ticking.”



About the Clinton Global Initiative
The Initiative, created by the Clinton Foundation in 2005 and set to coincide annually with the United Nations General Assembly, is intended to “bring together a community of doers from across a broad section of society not only to discuss our world’s most pressing challenges but also to commit publicly to take specific, practical, measurable actions to address them.” Learn more here.

About The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)
The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) is a global research institute with offices located in Washington, D.C.; New Delhi, India; Nairobi, Kenya; and Kampala, Uganda. Established in 1976, ICRW works to advance rights and opportunities for women and girls everywhere. Our research sheds light on some of the most pressing issues of our time and inextricably links research to impact. https://www.icrw.org/

About Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA)
The Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) is the single largest Central Trade union, registered on April 12th, 1972, with a membership of over 2.1million poor, self-employed women workers from the informal economy across 18 states in India. SEWA organizes women to achieve twin objectives of full employment and self-reliance. Full employment means women should have work security, income security, food security and social security while self reliance means the ability to work individually and collectively to achieve economic freedom and decision making.  Supportive services like savings and credit, health care, insurance, capacity building, and communication services are important needs of poor women. Recognising the need for supportive services, SEWA has helped women take a number of initiatives in organising these services for themselves and their SEWA sisters. https://www.sewa.org/

About Solar Sister
Solar Sister drives impact by investing in women’s clean energy businesses in off-grid communities in Africa. Solar Sister eradicates extreme energy poverty by empowering African women with economic opportunity and providing essential services and training that enable women entrepreneurs to build sustainable businesses. Solar Sister is a climate solution that also improves human well-being, boosts equity, and helps usher in prosperity for people in sub-Saharan Africa who are least responsible for the climate crisis. To date, over 7,400 Solar Sister Entrepreneurs have reached over three million people with clean energy access. Products sold by Solar Sister Entrepreneurs have eliminated over 894,848 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions. https://solarsister.org/

Mission Statement:

ICRW is the premier applied research institute focused on women and girls. In 2016, ICRW merged with the U.S. research organization Re:Gender (formerly the National Council for Research on Women) to create a global research platform.Headquartered in Washington, DC, with regional offices in India and Uganda, ICRW provides research and analysis to inform programs and policies that promote gender equality and help alleviate poverty.