In Eastern & Southern Africa, the inclusion (or non-) of gender in national power sector policy is examined by AFREPREN/FWD researchers in four countries, and how gender and energy research can influence this. Power sector reform in the region has not considered differential impacts on women and men. A review of energy sector policy documents revealed that there appears to be a growing awareness among policy makers and in policy statements that the power sector will only achieve sustainable development if gender analysis is integrated into policy formulation but that this backed only by vague policy objectives. Policy making in the energy sector in the region has been male dominated and had little consultation with end users and producers. Gender research could have a more effective impact on the policy process through a thorough understanding of the sector and interests; credible, relevant messages; and appropriate alliances and \"chains of legitimacy\" between beneficiaries, gender researchers, NGOs, and policymakers.