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

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