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Empowered by Electricity? The Political Economy of Gender and Energy in Rural Naryn


Kim, Elena, and Karina Standal. 2019. “Empowered by Electricity? The Political Economy of Gender and Energy in Rural Naryn.” Gender, Technology and Development 23 (1): 1–18.

Authors: Elena Kim, Karina Standal


This article examines if and how access to electricity has contributed to women’s empowerment in the broader context of the political economy of gender and energy in rural Naryn, Kyrgyzstan. Earlier literature has pointed to how electricity provided through development interventions has facilitated a range of desirable services, conditional for children’s education, communication technologies and economic growth. Access to electricity has been linked to gender equality and women’s empowerment via providing women new opportunities for agency and income. The context of this article is rural Kyrgyzstan where electricity has been available since the 1970s as a service delivered by the centralized Soviet state. This study provides important insights into how this has affected local development and gender relations in a post-socialist country. It reveals the complexity of energy access and challenges the assumptions that access to modern energy such as electricity will lead to fulfillment of SDG#7 on affordable and clean energy or increased economic activity and abandonment of traditional energy use. The findings demonstrate that electricity provides an important resource for communication, income generation and household chores. However, the lack of reliability and affordability of electricity in rural areas in the larger context of post-Soviet transitional challenges and changing gender norms, has undermined women’s potential empowerment and has worked to maintain gender inequalities.

Keywords: gender, electricity, energy, women's empowerment, Kyrgyzstan

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Infrastructure, Energy, Political Economies Regions: Asia, Central Asia Countries: Kyrgyzstan

Year: 2019

Peace in the Family is the Basis of Peace in the Country: How Women Contribute to Local Peace in Southern Kyrgyzstan


Ismailbekova, Aksana, and Nick Megoran. 2020. "Peace in the Family is the Basis of Peace in the Country: How Women Contribute to Local Peace in Southern Kyrgyzstan." Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 14 (4): 483-500.

Authors: Aksana Ismailbekova, Nick Megoran


There has been a significant amount of research on peacebuilding in Central Asia in general and in Kyrgyzstan in particular. This has helped us both understand socio-political processes in the republic itself, and the shortcomings of the liberal peacebuilding framework in general. However, this work has, with rare exceptions, focused largely on male peacebuilding at either the state or international scale. Correcting that trend, this article illuminates the role of women peacebuilders in the post-conflict city of Osh. Based on ethnographic research conducted in 2016, it argues that women have a hitherto overlooked but nonetheless important ‘invisible’ role in peacebuilding.

Keywords: peacebuilding, gender, Kyrgyzstan, family, elders, patriarchy

Topics: Age, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Post-Conflict, Peacebuilding Regions: Asia, Central Asia Countries: Kyrgyzstan

Year: 2020

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