The U. S. Embassy in Suva, Fiji announces an open competition for organizations interested in submitting applications for a regional program in eligible Pacific Island countries at $ 1. 5 million or less to promote greater leadership roles and economic opportunities for Pacific women and girls as part
of the region’s ongoing clean energy transition.
Pacific Island Countries – among the most vulnerable in the world to the impacts of climate change – have set ambitious goals and targets for renewable energy deployment and decarbonization of their economies.
Transition to renewable energy however presents specific structural and cultural challenges to ensuring that women girls – including from marginalized and underserved populations – have sufficient opportunities, resources, and freedom to benefit from and participate fully in new economic opportunities provided by the region’s emerging renewable energy sector.
Increasing female participation in the Pacific energy sector will also bring valuable additional viewpoints to help foster greater innovation in the sector.Gender inequalities continue to limit economic opportunities for women and girls in the Pacific region.
Structural barriers in discriminatory laws and regulations, social norms and customs, and gender-based violence have limited the ability of women and girls in the Pacific to be equal and catalytic economic actors.
In particular, the Pacific’s energy sector has long been male dominated.
Currently only 20 percent of the workforce of utilities in Pacific Island countries are female, with only 5 percent in technical roles.
Women in the region remain absent from energy-related decision-making at all levels.
Parents and relatives often discourage women and girls from becoming entrepreneurs or from pursuing male-dominated careers, such as those in the energy sector.
Female participation rates in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs in Pacific tertiary institutions remains low, with only 20 percent at university and 5 per cent or less at Vocational Education and Training Courses (TVET).This new program will help secure women’s economic future by strengthening institutions and gender-responsive policies in the Pacific’s male-dominated energy sector, enhancing employment opportunities for women in the clean energy workforce, promoting women’saccess to and representation in decision-making around the clean energy transition in the Pacific Islands, and promoting relevant science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education opportunities for women and girls.Additionally, this program will further solidify U. S. engagement in the Pacific Islands and contribute to the U. S. government’s Indo-Pacific Strategy and the U. S. State Department’s Women’s Economic Security Strategy.
This program will be funded through the State Department’s Office of Global Women’s Issues (S/GWI) Gender Equity and Equality Action Fund (GEEA) Fund, which is intended to advance gender equity and equality through enhancing the security of women and girls, including by securing their economic future through green jobs and building resilience to climate change.Projects may propose activities targeted through this solicitation in the following countries:
the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM); Fiji; Kiribati; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI); Samoa; the Solomon Islands; Tonga; Tuvalu; and/or Vanuatu.Projects should be regional in scope rather than focus on any specific Pacific Island country.
Activities may be carried out in any of the Pacific Island countries (PICs) list above, but preference will be given to projects that seek to promote opportunities for women and girls in the clean energy sector across all or at least a significant subset of PICs.Projects should seek to meet local or regional needs, involve regional and local expertise and know-how in the design and implementation phases of the project, and should build monitoring and evaluation – including time-bound milestones for performance/results – into the project.Proposals for over $ 1. 5 million will not be considered.
Projects may serve to implement discrete phases of larger regional projects or programs.