GIZ Proklima, an initiative from German consultant GIZ to promote eco-friendly cooling technologies worldwide, last month conducted a one-day refresher training class on the safe use of hydrocarbons for 11 women working as technicians in the refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) sector in Kenya, according to a post on the Green Cooling Initiative website.
The class was held on February 17 at the Nairobi Technical Training Institute in collaboration with the National Ozone Unit (NOU) of the Kenyan Ministry of Environment and Forestry. It is part of a training program GIZ Proklima has been leading for RAC technicians on the safe use of hydrocarbons and other natural refrigerants throughout the country.
GIZ Proklima is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). The Green Cooling Initiative is a multi-member consortium also funded by these German agencies.
In addition to training, the class was designed to “better understand the motivation, challenges, and opportunities for women working in this sector and to encourage them to pursue careers in this area,” noted the Green Cooling Initiative.
The women at the class said that women in Kenya “should fill the gap in the skilled workforce in the field of green cooling technology, especially with regards to the safe use of natural refrigerants,” said the Green Cooling Initiative.
Some of the challenges faced by Kenyan women include “discrimination, tough working conditions (especially high heights on buildings), difficulties during pregnancy, and sexual harassment among others,” the Green Cooling Initiative said. Capacity building and awareness raising were among the top recommendations cited to tackle these challenges.
Over 1,000 RAC technicians have been trained in the GIZ Proklima program but only slightly over 60 (6%) are women. “The big gender disparity needs to be addressed and could help in achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls by 2030,” said the Green Cooling Initiative.. This goal is described in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 5 on gender equality.
“The big gender disparity needs to be addressed and could help in achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls by 2030.”Green Cooling Initiative
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