The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed flawed systems that have failed marginalised communities living in the Global South for decades. These groups now face myriad crises all at once, from job losses and business closures to deepening food insecurity, overwhelmed public health systems, and climate-fueled instability. Many women have lost primary, secondary, or tertiary sources of income – or all three – putting entire families at risk.

Amidst these compounding crises, the need for clean, accessible, and affordable energy has never been clearer. That is why the Shine Campaign is bringing together values-driven donors, investors, and advocates, including women, indigenous, and grassroots community leaders to announce the Shine COVID-19 Recovery Fund. The fund, created in partnership with women leaders representing last-mile energy communities, will provide small grants to sustain entrepreneurial energy access initiatives. Recipient projects must be locally-rooted, women-led, and should centre decision-making within their respective communities.

At this pivotal moment in time, we have the chance to address long-standing, systemic inequities in energy access and economic opportunities by investing directly in the leaders driving community-level advancements in clean energy: women. Across the world, from boardrooms to local communities, women are taking the lead on energy initiatives and climate change. They are demanding to be integral players in decision-making processes. In Global South communities, that is no different. Women, and women of colour in particular, are on the frontlines of responding to both the COVID-19 and climate crises. Long before COVID-19, women have been spearheading innovations and driving scalable renewable energy solutions to power their communities and lift them out of poverty.

Read the full article about women in the clean energy movement by Sheila Oparaocha and Emira Woods at Alliance Magazine.