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Nepal

Rice Cookers, Social Media, and Unruly Women: Disentangling Electricity’s Gendered Implications in Rural Nepal

Citation:

Matinga, Margaret N., Bigsna Gill, and Tanja Winther. 2019. “Rice Cookers, Social Media, and Unruly Women: Disentangling Electricity’s Gendered Implications in Rural Nepal.” Frontiers in Energy Research 6 (January).

 

Authors: Margaret N. Matinga, Bigsna Gill, Tanja Winther

Abstract:

Rice cookers, social media, and television sets are commonly used in rural Nepal. In this paper we explore how gender norms condition the uptake of these artifacts, and the gendered implications of their uses. We draw on material from a household survey, in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, and key informant interviews, collected in 2017 in Dhading and Tanahun districts in rural Nepal. The results show that each of the three artifacts initiate distinct, gendered dynamics in terms of uptake, uses, and effects. Women’s use of electric rice cookers aligns with their gendered identity as cooks, helping them improve their gendered work and do not trigger resistance from men. In contrast, the use of mobile phones, social media, and television, prompt complex gender outcomes, resistances, and negotiations. Young people use social media to initiate self-negotiated marriages, shunning arranged marriages thus increasing their agency. It was reported that these self-negotiated marriages tend to be earlier (ages 12–14) than before, as young girls drop out of school to marry their chosen partners, thus threatening their empowerment. Access to television and internet has increased awareness about family planning methods, but persistent gender hierarchies hinder women from freely deciding on and accessing these methods. Women and youth pursuing new opportunities that challenge gender norms are sometimes labeled as unfaithful and unruly by others in the villages. The paper highlights the need to understand subversive responses to social and cultural changes mediated by electricity so that policy and practice can support the desired social transformations.

Keywords: gender relations, energy poverty, electric potential, women's empowerment, energy justice

Topics: Age, Youth, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Media, Households, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2019

Appropriate Gender-Analysis Tools for Unpacking the Gender-Energy-Poverty Nexus

Citation:

Clancy, Joy, Fareeha Ummar, Indira Shakya, and Govind Kelkar. 2007. “Appropriate Gender-Analysis Tools for Unpacking the Gender-Energy-Poverty Nexus.” Gender & Development 15 (2): 241–57.

Authors: Joy Clancy, Fareeha Ummar, Indira Shakya, Govind Kelkar

Abstract:

In rural and low-income urban households, energy is ‘women’s business’: women are responsible for providing energy, and use it for domestic chores and productive activities. However, the poor quality fuels many women use contribute to their time poverty, ill health, and level of drudgery. Despite these negative impacts, energy policy remains gender-blind. This can be attributed to the invisibility of women’s needs to energy planners, stemming from a lack of appropriate gender-analysis tools to meet the particular data requirements of the energy sector. This article analyses why standard gender tools do not provide appropriate gender-disaggregated energy data, and describes a set of tools that have been developed for that purpose. The paper concludes with an evaluation of recent experiences testing the tools in Pakistan, India, and Nepal.

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Households, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India, Nepal, Pakistan

Year: 2007

Gender-Inclusive Energy: The Nepal Case

Citation:

Mohideen, Reihana. 2020. “Gender-Inclusive Energy: The Nepal Case.” In Women and the Energy Revolution in Asia, 39–58. Singapore: Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.

Author: Reihana Mohideen

Abstract:

The Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC), Nepal, provides an important real-world example that illustrates the role that governments can and do play in spawning technological development for socio-economic benefits, including addressing social and gender equity issues related to differential access to energy-based technologies. The AEPC is a special case as an institution in the energy sector, because it attempts to address social and gender equity considerations in the development of the renewable energy sector in Nepal and in the delivery of renewable energy technologies and services to rural communities.

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Governance, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2020

Gender Audits: An Approach to Engendering Energy Policy in Nepal, Kenya and Senegal

Citation:

Clancy, Joy S., and Nthabiseng Mohlakoana. 2020. “Gender Audits: An Approach to Engendering Energy Policy in Nepal, Kenya and Senegal.” Energy Research & Social Science 62 (April): 101378.

Authors: Joy S. Clancy, Nthabiseng Mohlakoana

Abstract:

Gender audits are an approach for putting gender on the policy agenda and are an alternative to gender budgets being less dependant on experts in government finance.

This paper explores the effectiveness of gender audits as an approach to mainstreaming in the energy sector which has lagged other sectors in mainstreaming gender. The assessment takes the experiences of an international network on gender and sustainable energy that aims to get gender onto the energy policy agenda. Since there is no standard audit methodology, the network developed its own.

The paper uses an analysis of qualitative data, reviews of audit reports and key informant interviews to answer two questions. As a result of gender audits, have gender issues or attending to women's particular interests been incorporated in energy policy? Did participation in an audit build the capacity of national actors to contribute to gender mainstreaming in the energy sector? Detailed data comes from network countries conducting audits: Kenya, Senegal and Nepal, with supporting evidence from 8 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

The gender audit methodology used is partially effective in integrating gender issues into government energy policy. Pragmatic, conceptual and political barriers to gender mainstreaming continue to operate. Adopting gender-aware policies occurs rapidly in organisations that participated in the audits. Male employees more readily accept gender policies when they see that policies also benefits men. In the audit countries, a group of national gender and energy experts has been established able to contribute to mainstreaming gender in the energy sector.

Keywords: gender mainstreaming, gender audits, energy policy, engendering policy, knowledge networks, gender capacity, mainstreaming effectiveness

Topics: Gender, Gender Analysis, Gender Budgeting, Gender Mainstreaming, Governance, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Africa, East Africa, West Africa, Asia, South Asia Countries: Kenya, Nepal, Senegal

Year: 2020

Indigenous Practice in Agro-Pastoralism and Carbon Management from a Gender Perspective: A Case from Nepal

Citation:

Deshar, Rashila, and Madan Koirala. 2020. “Indigenous Practice in Agro-Pastoralism and Carbon Management from a Gender Perspective: A Case from Nepal.” In Carbon Management for Promoting Local Livelihood in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) Region, edited by Zhanhuan Shang, A. Allan Degen, Muhammad Khalid Rafiq, and Victor R. Squires, 267–80. Cham: Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

Authors: Rashila Deshar, Madan Koirala

Abstract:

Indigenous knowledge is the means making the practice possible in livelihood activity of HKH region. Pasturelands management and agropastoral activities carried out by indigenous people produce enough carbon and sequester large quantities of aboveground and belowground carbon. Such activities by indigenous people in Nepal Himalaya may have widespread effects on regional climate and global carbon cycles. This chapter showed the evaluating of indigenous gender perspective in the carbon management in Gatlang VDC of Rasuwa District, Nepal. The findings revealed that most of the labor related to agropastoral activities carried out by women contributed to carbon input and output, but their role was hardly recognized and valued. In the major decision-making process, women had either no or little say. Women contributed more than men to carbon input and output activities and. Therefore, their role in carbon management should be given proper attention.

Keywords: agropastoral, carbon sequestration, decision making, gender equality, Nepal Himalaya, women contribution

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Gender, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Infrastructure, Energy, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2020

Gender Energy and Poverty in Nepal: Perspectives from Human Freedom

Citation:

Mahat, Ishara. 2015. “Gender Energy and Poverty in Nepal: Perspectives from Human Development.” In Sustainable Livelihood Systems in Nepal: Principles, Practices and Prospects, edited by Ambika P. Adhikari and Govinda P. Dahal, 263–79. Kathmandu: International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Canada Foundation for Nepal (CFFN).

Author: Ishara Mahat

Abstract:

Access to rural energy in general, and biomass in particular, has significant impact on people’s well-being. This is especially true for the life qualities of rural women in Nepal, as they are directly involved in production and management of household energy. Energy poverty involves deprivations on multiple fronts such as economic, social, cultural and ecological. Low access to energy services is one aspect of poverty, as energy choices of poor households are influenced by poverty. Energy poverty has multidimensional implications on human development, and particularly on women from rural areas. For instance, increased use of biomass limits the economic productivity and reproduction capacities of women, which, in turn, restricts their capabilities to access many socio-economic opportunities. The challenges are to identify alternative options that help to address both energy poverty as well as human poverty in order to increase the human capabilities (especially of women) and their freedom, improving the overall well-being of rural households. It is important to think about the type of fuel technologies and their delivery mechanisms that can possibly help to make a large-scale transition away from traditional biomass cooking to improve the well-being of women and their families in rural Nepal.

Keywords: gender, poverty, capabilities and freedom, Nepal, energy

Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Households, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2015

Gender and Rural Energy Technologies: Empowerment Perspective—A Case Study of Nepal

Citation:

Mahat, Ishara. 2006. “Gender and Rural Energy Technologies: Empowerment Perspective—A Case Study of Nepal.” Canadian Journal of Development Studies / Revue Canadienne d’Études du Développement 27 (4): 531–50.

Author: Ishara Mahat

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
This paper analyzes whether alternative energy technologies have been able to lift the socio-economic status of rural women in Nepal, and mountain women in particular, in terms of saving their labour and time spent in managing household energy. It also examines if these technologies have provided increasing opportunities for women to be involved in socio-economic activities in rural villages. It is based on research conducted in Kavre, one of the jirst districts where the Rural Energy Development Program (REDP), supported by the UNDP, implemented micro hydro plants and other rural energy technologies.

FRENCH ABSTRACT:
L'auteure présente une analyse où elle tente de déterminer si les technologies énergétiques alternatives ont pu rehausser le statut socioéconomique des femmes du Népal qui vivent en milieu rural, notamment celles des régions montagneuses, en leur permettant d'épargner le temps qu'elles consacraient aux tâches nécessaires pour gérer l'éergie du ménage. Elle examine également si ces technologies ont donné aux femmes plus d'occasions de participer aux activités socioéconorniques des villages ruraux. L'article repose sur une recherche réalisée à Kavre, l'un des premiers districts où le programme de déeloppement énergétique en milieu rural (REDP), qu'appuie le PNUD, a servi à mettre en place des microcentrales hydroélectriques et d'autres technologies énergétiques rurales.

Topics: Economies, Gender, Women, Households, Infrastructure, Energy, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2006

Rural Energy Planning and Policies in Nepal: Gender Perspectives

Citation:

Mahat, Ishara. 2004. “Rural Energy Planning and Policies in Nepal: Gender Perspectives.” Journal of Resources, Energy and Development 1 (1): 19–41.

Author: Ishara Mahat

Abstract:

Women in rural Nepal are heavily involved in managing household energy systems. They spend a large proportion of their time and energy in collecting firewood and processing food grain. For instance, a woman in Nepal’s rural mountainous area spends four to six hours in collecting a bundle firewood. Being the primary users and managers of household energy, women are very careful in ensuring efficient energy use. Indeed, they possess indigenous knowledge and skills in energy production and management. Despite this reality, Nepal’s planners and policy-makers – who are usually male – rarely consider rural energy problems from the perspective of women. Rural energy interventions are planned and designed with the aim of saving fuel rather than that of reducing human drudgery or opening up new development opportunities for women and men. This paper analyses the issues and challenges facing Nepal’s rural energy sector and makes some policy recommendations with a focus on gender-based plans and policies. A gender-sensitive planning framework indicating long-term goals, medium-term objectives, and relevant indicators has been designed to provide planners with a basis to integrate gender into rural energy planning and policies.

Topics: Gender, Governance, Households, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2004

Conflict, Disaster and Changing Gender Roles in Nepal: Women’s Everyday Experiences

Citation:

K.C., Luna. 2019. "Conflict, Disaster and Changing Gender Roles in Nepal: Women’s Everyday Experiences." PhD diss., Wageningen University.

Author: Luna K.C.

Annotation:

Summary:
Nepal suffered from the civil conflict from 1996 to 2006 as the Communist party of Nepal (so-called Maoist) sought to end the monarchical system that had been in place for 240 years and establish a People’s Republic. The Maoist-party ideology was highly focused upon the structural transformation of the country and had a strong message about women’s empowerment. The conflict brought a dramatic shift in the social, economic, and the political situation of Nepal. In November 2006, the peace agreement was signed, the country then started the post-conflict reconstruction process, such as writing a new constitution, constitution assembly election, state restructuring, and the policy formation.
 
The Maoist conflict produced multiple gendered effects upon women’s everyday lives. One category of women joined as Maoist combatants in search of equality and empowerment and performed roles equal to men in the war. Another category of women stayed behind when the men fled from the war to the cities or neighbouring countries, and their husbands, fathers or sons were killed, or became rebels or disappeared in the war. Women non-combatants experienced a situation where men’s work shifted onto their shoulders and they performed dual roles; at home and outside.
 
After the earthquake happened on 25 April 2015 in Nepal, women were impacted in a different way. When men were killed or became disabled, were away, or lost income in the earthquake, women took over men’s roles and responsibilities, such as rescued their family members, searched for the food, accommodation, financial support, jobs, health care, including took care of the children and elderly people. At the same time, women were also involved in a multiple role during post-earthquake settings.
 
The conflict/post-conflict/disaster period produces gendered effects; thus, gender analysis becomes fundamental during this time to understand how women and men deal with the rapid gender role change in the context of crisis and its aftermath, when there is a certain return to the normal situation.
 
This thesis is about women and changing gender roles in Nepal. The study traces the gendered effects of the Maoist war and the earthquake on women’s everyday lives. It examines how women experience the impact of the Maoist war and the post-conflict era in relation to shifting gender roles, responsibilities, challenges, and new openings. The thesis then asks similar questions about women affected by the earthquake, that happened while the country was still struggling with post-conflict issues.
 
Chapter 1 presents the introduction, which offers an overview of the main concern of the thesis and the theoretical perspectives (the sexual division of labour and power, ideology of gender, structural factors, and the role of the policy) that inform it. Chapter 2 outlines the methodology (in-depth interview, focuses group discussion, participant observation, and key informant interview) applied to conduct this study.
 
Chapter 3 examined how the Maoist conflict in Nepal affected women ex-combatants and non-combatants, looking at changes in gender roles during and after the conflict particularly from the standpoint of livelihood challenges in the post-war period. Major findings indicate that changing gender roles largely depend upon everyday practice of sexual division of labour and power as it evolved during and after the conflict. It also shows that the conflict produced different and contradictory effects on both categories of women who experienced shifts in gender roles. In post-war settings, these changes were partly reversed, and especially ex-combatant women faced severe livelihood challenges and returned to traditional gender roles.
 
Chapter 4 investigated how the Maoist armed conflict in Nepal was a struggle for the emancipation of women and it particularly looked at how women ex-combatants were engaged with ideas of gender equality and women’s empowerment during the Maoist war and afterwards. It further explores what happens to women’s ideological drive as gender roles ‘shift back’ after the war. The results demonstrate that in the Maoist war women ex-combatants were strongly committed to the Maoist gender ideology and experienced empowerment through this process, as they adopted non-traditional roles and crossed gender as well as caste lines. However, in the post-war, they felt ambivalent empowerment because there was a lack of commitment from the Maoist party to issues of gender equality and at the same time the patriarchal structures continued intact and, in some ways, even strengthened, and women faced multiple exclusions. 
 
Chapter 5 looked at how women ex-combatants experienced the reintegration process in the aftermath of war. The study found that the reintegration programming of Nepal lack gender framework due to which woman encountered a range of challenges in the post-war period. Mainly, the challenges were two-fold: At the societal level; they struggled to gain recognition, and at the family level they negotiated/renegotiated to rebuild relationships and safety-nets.
 
Chapter 6 investigated what challenges women faced in the wake of the earthquake and how these were related to their gender position. It asks how gender roles changed in relation to the earthquake in Nepal. Findings illustrate that different categories of women faced the effects of earthquake differently, especially with regards to the intersectionality of gender and migration and family composition. The earthquake provided women a window of opportunity to change gender roles. On the other hand, women encountered great difficulties in addressing their everyday needs and experienced gender-based exclusion.
 
Chapter 7 synthesises the outcomes of the four substantive chapters, discusses the findings, and offers four recommendations for policy implications.
 
Table of Contents:
Acknowledgements
Chapter 1: Introduction
 
Chapter 2: Methodology
 
Chapter 3: Changing Gender Role: Women’s Livelihoods, Conflict and Post-Conflict Security in Nepal
 
Chapter 4:Living Maoist Gender Ideology:Experiences of Women Ex-Combatants in Nepal 79
 
Chapter 5: Everyday Realities of Reintegration: Experiences of Maoist ‘Verified’ Women Ex- Combatants in the Aftermath of War in Nepal
 
Chapter 6: Exploring Gendered Effects of the 2015 Earthquake in Nepal through Women’s Eyes
 
Chapter 7: Conclusion and Discussion

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Caste, Combatants, Female Combatants, DDR, Displacement & Migration, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Intersectionality, Livelihoods, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Peace Processes Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2019

Violence against Women and Girls with Disabilities during and after the 2015 Nepal Earthquake: Thematic Analysis of Qualitative Data

Citation:

Bista, Sapana Basnet, and Shaurabh Sharma. 2019. "Violence against Women and Girls with Disabilities during and after the 2015 Nepal Earthquake: Thematic Analysis of Qualitative Data." Lancet Global Health 7 (S45).

Authors: Sapana Basnet Bista, Shaurabh Sharma

Abstract:

Background: Disasters affect people with disabilities disproportionately. Violence against women and girls, including sexual and psychological violence, has been reported to increase during and after natural disasters. Despite worldwide attention on the devastation caused by the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, the risk of violence against women and girls with disabilities and their experiences during the crisis and recovery phases remain under-researched. In this study, we aim to explore the experiences of violence against disabled women and girls immediately after the earthquake and during the post-earthquake recovery period. 
 
Methods: We undertook a thematic analysis of qualitative data collected through semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with women and girls with disabilities from the districts worst affected by the 2015 Nepal earthquake: Kathmandu valley (n=16), Dhading (n=8), Sindhupalchok (n=8), and Gorkha (n=8). These qualitative data were a part of two larger studies; one that explored the experiences of people with disabilities during the 2015 Nepal earthquake and another that studied the effect of post-earthquake mental health and psychosocial support in women with disabilities. All participants for this part of the study were recruited through a snowball sampling technique. 
 
Findings: We analysed data from interviews with 40 participants conducted between May, 2015, and February, 2018. Five focus group discussions each with eight participants lasted between 1 h and 1·5 h. Semi-structured interviews lasted between 30 mins and 45 mins. By comparison with their pre-earthquake experiences, women and girls with disabilities reported increased psychological, physical, and sexual violence immediately after the earthquake mostly in and around temporary shelters. Physical and psychological violence were reported to be committed by partners, family members, relatives, and sometimes by people who lived in the same community; sexual violence against girls with disabilities were reported to be committed by close relatives, family members, or an opportunist stranger. 
 
Interpretation: Our findings highlight that being female with a disability, having limited rights and independence, and having limited access to financial resources lead to increased longer-term violence, even during the recovery and reconstruction phase of a natural disaster. We recommend that emergency responders undertake gender and disability sensitisation training to remove barriers and stigma against women and girls with disabilities. Government, national, and international humanitarian agencies should work together with local-level organisations to strengthen gender and disability-inclusive preventative, reporting, and justice mechanisms.

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Girls, Gender-Based Violence, Health, Mental Health, Sexual Violence, Violence Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2019

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