#11 Nuclear power contributes to improving the condition of women and to equal opportunities

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Published on 03/01/2022

(energy security is a factor of emancipation and the sector is changing the female share in STEM professions)

How does nuclear contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goal #5: improve the status of women and advance gender equality?

The role of access to reliable and affordable energy in women’s empowerment should not be underestimated. By powering modern household appliances and utilities, energy has freed women and girls from the labor-intensive tasks that many were constrained by societal pressures, giving them more time to access education and more rewarding activities.

But these benefits are not available everywhere. If we are to achieve gender equality in the world, we must ensure that all households have access to a reliable, low-carbon supply of electricity, and that families have the economic resources to purchase the household appliances that allow a better quality of life.

To have the most skilled workforce, an industry must attract the best talent. As in many industries in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), women are still under-represented in the nuclear industry, with less than 25% of the workforce globally.

The international campaign “Equality in 2030”, a joint initiative between the International Energy Agency and the Ministerial Conference on Clean Energy, aims to accelerate the participation of women in the global transition to carbon-free energy, and close the gap between women and men in terms of employment and income.

Many companies in the nuclear sector have joined this initiative and made commitments such as strengthening the parity of their teams and their management, partnering with schools to encourage young women to pursue STEM careers, and provide training to prevent discrimination and combat prejudice.

The full report of the World Nuclear Association is available here.