Scoping the Gender Issues in Liquid Biofuel Value Chains


Nelson, Valerie, and Yianna Lambrou. 2011. “Scoping the Gender Issues in Liquid Biofuel Value Chains.” NRI Working Paper Series: Climate Change, Agriculture and Natural Resources No. 3, Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, London.

Authors: Valerie Nelson, Yianna Lambrou


“The gender dimensions of biofuel development have been relatively neglected. Yet to achieve equitable and socially sustainable development requires an understanding of how women, men and social groups may be affected differently by biofuel innovations. Whole communities will be affected by biofuel developments, but the opportunities available and the significant risks and impacts involved are not experienced equally by women and men. This is because of the gender inequalities that prevail throughout the world. In fact, women and female-headed households will be disproportionately affected, because they usually have less decision-making power, and lack control over key livelihood resources and their situations could be made worse by gender-blind biofuel developments.

“Field-based evidence is scarce for identifying best practice in biofuel gender mainstreaming, and this is perhaps unsurprising given the recent nature of the commercial biofuels boom and the catch-up that is required of development practitioners and policy-makers to understand and respond to the risks, impacts and opportunities involved. More in-depth field studies in Asia, Latin America and Africa are needed to provide evidence that will enable the formulation of detailed guidance on specific feedstocks in different contexts.

“A huge range of journal articles and grey literature has been reviewed to produce this study and in the search for information on the gender dimensions of biofuels. This scoping study seeks to inform policy-makers and practitioners about the key issues of gender in biofuels schemes and value chains and to provide recommendations about what can be done by building on women’s capabilities, to support their agency and collective action and thus to promote their empowerment for more equitable rural pathways” (Nelson and Lambrou 2011, 1).

Topics: Development, Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Infrastructure, Energy, Livelihoods

Year: 2011

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