Gender Impacts and Determinants of Energy Poverty: Are We Asking the Right Questions?


Pachauri, Shonali, and Narasimha D. Rao. 2013. “Gender Impacts and Determinants of Energy Poverty: Are We Asking the Right Questions?” Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 5 (2): 205–15.

Authors: Shonali Pachauri, Narasimha D. Rao


Compelling empirical evidence on the gender differentiated impacts and determinants of energy transitions remains weak. In this paper, we focus on identifying key gaps in our current understanding of how women’s well-being relates to energy poverty and in framing questions for further research. Our overarching message is twofold: first, more research and empirical evidence is needed to understand the factors – both outside and within the household – that influence women’s decision-making power in relation to the adoption of modern energy services, and whether their adoption leads to the intended benefits. Second, policies (and research) that aim to improve (study) women’s well-being through improvements in household energy use need to consider not only this broader enabling context, but also the multiple dimensions of modern energy service provision. Existing power relations and institutions today discriminate against women in many developing countries. Disregarding these gender inequalities can undermine the potential for transforming women’s status and well-being.

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Infrastructure, Energy

Year: 2013

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