Gender in Electricity Policymaking in India, Nepal and Kenya

Citation:

Govindan, Mini, Debajit Palit, Rashmi Murali, and Deepa Sankar. 2019. “Gender in Electricity Policymaking in India, Nepal and Kenya.” In Energy Justice Across Borders, edited by Gunter Bombaerts, Kirsten Jenkins, Yekeen A. Sanusi, and Wang Guoyu, 111-35. Cham: Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

Authors: Mini Govindan, Debajit Palit, Rashmi Murali, Deepa Sankar

Abstract:

Electricity is regarded as a basic amenity fundamental to improving human well-being and overall economic development. It also contributes to improving gender parity and social inclusion, especially in situations where women are challenged by harsh living conditions. This chapter examines how gender issues that were considered are addressed in the policies related to electricity in India, Kenya, and Nepal. The analysis reveals that whilst more than half of the reviewed documents were devoid of any explicit mention of gender concerns, an increasing number of electricity policies are now reflecting gender considerations. The predominantly “gender-blind” approach towards the potential benefits of electricity access emanates from a reluctance to explicitly acknowledge gender based differences in needs in creating equitable outcomes. The assumption that electricity access itself is enough for associated benefits to trickle down, that too equitably for men and women, stems from limited awareness. This is aggravated further by the absence of documented evidence on the merit of including gender elements in electrification policies and programmes. Based on the review of existing electricity policies, this chapter provides specific recommendations for incorporating gender in the electricity policies with a view to support and address the broader energy justice concerns. 

Keywords: electricity, gender, women, policies, energy justice, India, Nepal, Kenya

Topics: Development, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Households, Infrastructure, Energy, Justice Regions: Africa, East Africa, Asia, South Asia Countries: India, Kenya, Nepal

Year: 2019

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