International Women’s Day 2022

This International Women’s Day, we want to celebrate the incredible women who are breaking down barriers and changing the world – one solar light at the time. 

Energy poverty disproportionately affects women and girls across sub-Saharan Africa from adverse health effects to loss of schooling and income.

However, it has also been shown that women are key change-makers in bringing clean energy to rural communities.

To achieve gender equality, energy access is vital. With a solar light, women can earn, girls can learn and communities thrive.

For women, a solar light light truly changes everything.

Unlocking the power of women to light up communities

The Mayi Walas programme is designed to support women entrepreneurs to overcome barriers facing women in Malawi by combining training, business support and accessible loans. Following the launch of the Mayi Walas programme in 2021, the programme is growing and spreading across rural communities in Malawi.

Teleza and Esnart dream of becoming teachers

Teleza and Esnart are friends that dream of becoming teachers when they grow up. But, without access to light in the evenings, studying was difficult. With the opportunity to study after dark, the girls are thriving at school and one step closer to realising their dreams.

"When coming home, we will know that tonight, we will just switch on the light. There won’t be any more problems. If a snake is coming, we will be able to see it. If a person opens the door, we can see him."
Kesilina Chiwoza, Malawi

Nelia and her daughters feels safer in their home now that they have light at night. Photo: SolarAid/Chris Gagnon.

The Last Baby to Be Born in the Dark

About 75% of health clinics in sub- Saharan Africa lack access to reliable electricity. Mtimabii Health Clinic in Mangochi, rural Malawi was one of these. But those dark nights are now a thing of the past at Mtimabii and Baby Diana is the last baby will be born in the dark.

Olivia Can Now Hear Her Baby

Olivia Chivita is a patient at Chipembi Rural Health clinic in Zambia. Like most rural clinics in Zambia, Chipembi is lacking access to stable electricity. Solar home systems have now been installed to light up the clinic, and solar rechargeable medical equipment has been delivered. Olivia, who is pregnant with her second child can now for the first time hear her baby with the help of the solar powered foetal doppler.

Women Entrepreneurship in numbers

  • 58%

    of Africa's self employed population are women.

  • 34%

    less salary is earned by women than men in sub-Saharan Africa.

  • 94%

    of women in Malawi work within the informal sector