Gender, Domestic Energy and Design of Inclusive Low-Income Habitats: A Case of Slum Rehabilitation Housing in Mumbai, India

Citation:

Sunikka-Blank, Minna, Ronita Bardhan, and Anika Nasra Haque. 2019. “Gender, Domestic Energy and Design of Inclusive Low-Income Habitats: A Case of Slum Rehabilitation Housing in Mumbai, India.” Energy Research & Social Science 49 (March): 53–67.

Authors: Minna Sunikka-Blank, Ronita Bardhan, Anika Nasra Haque

Abstract:

Women's involvement in decision-making in domestic energy remains an under-researched area, especially in the urban context. This research adopts a gendered perspective in exploring slum rehabilitation housing in India. Based on a household survey and a focus group discussion (FGD), women’s household and working practices are explored in interview narratives and systems analysis. The findings show that the relocation to slum re- habilitation housing (SRH) has radically changed women’s household routines (cooking, comfort, childrearing, working and entertainment practices) and that women are more affected by the relocation than men. Changed practices, poor design of SRH and lack of outdoor space have radically increased electricity use and living costs in all the surveyed households. The economic pressure forces women into lowly paid jobs or informal economy, creating a vicious circle where women’s time poverty further reduces their social capital and opportunities for self-development in terms of education or formal employment. A comparison of SRH typologies shows that building design has great influence both on gendered use of space and electricity use, advocating a courtyard typology. Further, interviews with policy-makers reveal a dis-juncture between the occupant realities and the policy objectives. The paper argues that gender equality can and should be influenced through energy and housing policies and offers a conceptual framework for inclusive SRH to address this dis-juncture.

Keywords: gender, domestic energy use, inequality, design, slum rehabilitation housing

Topics: Economies, Informal Economies, Education, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2019

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