Creating Opportunities for Women in the Renewable Energy Sector: Findings from India


Baruah, Bipasha. 2015. “Creating Opportunities for Women in the Renewable Energy Sector: Findings from India.” Feminist Economics 21 (2): 53-76.

Author: Bipasha Baruah


This paper identifies opportunities and constraints that low-income women face in accessing livelihoods in the renewable-energy sector in India through qualitative and quantitative research conducted in collaboration with The Energy Resources Institute (TERI) and the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) in 2012–13. Whereas previous research has focused on women mostly as end users of solar and biomass technologies, this research attempts also to understand women’s potential as entrepreneurs, facilitators, designers, and innovators. Findings reveal that although access to technology and employment in the energy sector is limited by inadequate purchasing power and low social status, there is tremendous potential to create livelihoods for women at all levels of the energy supply chain. Broader findings indicate that women can gain optimal traction from employment in the energy sector only if there are wider socially progressive policies in place, including state intervention to create a robust social welfare infrastructure and accessible, high-quality, public services.

Keywords: women's labor force participation, employment, poverty, renewable energy, solar energy, biomass

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Governance, Infrastructure, Energy, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2015

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