Solar Power for Women’s Empowerment

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19.11.2015 - Illiterate women from villages around the world with no electricity attend a course to learn how to make solar panels in India, coming back home as ‘solar engineers’. This was the plot of Ciné-ONU’s latest screening on 18 November 2015 at the Italian Cultural Institute. It’s a tale about crossing borders and pushing boundaries for women’s empowerment, renewable and sustainable energy, and development.

Bring the Sun Home was screened to celebrate the International Year of Light, which is a global initiative stressing the importance of light in people’s lives, for their futures, and for the development of society. The UN recognizes that light has revolutionized medicine, opened up international communication via the Internet, and continues to be central to linking cultural, economic and political aspects of the global society.

The film documents the empowerment of women in rural areas in developing countries while encouraging the use of renewable and sustainable energies.

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“Women are in charge of transmitting education, so change starts with them” according to Thierry Lucas, Coordinator of the Biodiversity and Ecosystems Management subprogramme at UNEP, adding “it’s at the core of the UN’s work”. 

The light brought back to the villages by the new ‘solar engineers’ has visibly already impacted their communities. For example, children can now study at night and livestock can be taken care of when the sun goes down.

“We are starting to collect data on economic development but are already seeing better conditions in health and safety” said Antonella Santilli, Head of Sustainability at Enel Green Power at the Q&A session following the film.

At the event the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) emphasized the “en.lighten initiative”, which was established to accelerate a global market transformation to environmentally sustainable, energy efficient lighting technologies, as well as to develop strategies to phase-out inefficient incandescent lamps to reduce CO2 emissions and the release of mercury from fossil fuel combustion.

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Photo Credits:

Photo 1: UNRIC / Giulia Rosato

Photo 2: Official Poster / Bring the Sun Home