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The Transformation of Governance in the South African Energy Sector: Critical Considerations for Gender Mainstreaming

Citation:

Nel, D., and C. Joel. 2019. “The Transformation of Governance in the South African Energy Sector: Critical Considerations for Gender Mainstreaming.” Journal of Contemporary Management 16 (1): 313-32.

Authors: D. Nel, C. Joel

Abstract:

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5, views gender equality as a basic human right. SDG 5 emphasises that the end of discrimination in all sectors across the globe, is essential to achieve SDG 5. SDG 7 calls for affordable and clean energy. Consequently, affordable energy and energy efficiency is a basic prerequisite for socio-economic development, whereas clean energy, is an essential component for preventing environmental degradation and resource depletion. Based on these SDGs, it is important that equal rights in terms of gender be reflected in the energy sector to achieve sustainable development. Gender inequality limits womans’ opportunities to participate in policy- and decision-making in terms of energy resource governance. Gender mainstreaming addresses the inequality of women and therefore implies a shift in the role of women in the energy sector. This article aims to discuss the interrelationship of the energy sector and gender mainstreaming, to work towards achieving SDGs 5 and 7. The analysis in this article is based on a qualitative approach, using unobtrusive research techniques. Data was collected through a desktop study, using secondary data, including scholarly papers and books, reports from the United Nations, ministerial websites, relevant news articles, unsolicited government reports and policies. An analysis was done to determine the development of the level of female representation at the executive decision-making level in the energy sector in South Africa. The results indicate that male representation is higher than female representation’, which may indicate, unequal access to participation in energy resource governance, which would reinforce an unequal gender power balance. Although there has been an improved effort from government in terms of gender mainstreaming and empowerment, a number of barriers remain, including a lack of gender-sensitive policies, awareness, information, and employment equity. The South African government has made some progress in terms of gender mainstreaming and there seems to be improvement in some areas in the energy value chain. However, these efforts have been fragmented and disjointed and not much has been achieved in terms of gender mainstreaming in the policy process and implementation.

Keywords: energy governance, energy resource management, gender mainstreaming, Sustainable Development Goals

Topics: Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Infrastructure, Energy, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2019

Recovering Bioenergy in Sub-Saharan Africa: Gender Dimensions, Lessons and Challenges

Citation:

Njenga, Mary, and Ruth Mendum, eds. 2018. Recovering Bioenergy in Sub-Saharan Africa: Gender Dimensions, Lessons and Challenges. Colombo, Sri Lanka: International Water Management Institute.

Authors: Mary Njenga, Ruth Mendum

Abstract:

There is a strong link between gender and energy in view of food preparation and the acquisition of fuel, especially in rural areas. This is demonstrated in a range of case studies from East and West Africa, where biochar, human waste and other waste resources have been used to produce briquettes or biogas as additional high-quality fuel sources. The synthesis of the cases concludes that resource recovery and reuse for energy offers an alternative to conventional centralized grid projects which, while attractive to investors and large-scale enterprises, do not necessarily provide job opportunities for marginalized communities. Reusing locally available waste materials for energy production and as soil ameliorant (in the case of biochar) in small enterprises allows women and youth who lack business capital to begin modest, locally viable businesses. The case studies offer concrete examples of small-scale solutions to energy poverty that can make a significant difference to the lives of women and their communities.

Annotation:

Table of Contents:
1. Gender and Energy and the Rationale for Resource Recovery and Reuse (RRR) for Energy

Ruth Mendum and Mary Njenga

2. Human Waste-to-fuel Briquettes as a Sanitation and Energy Solution for Refugee Camps and Informal Urban Settlements
Tyler Karahalios, Catherine Berner and Mary Njenga

3. The Impact of Gendered Roles in the Briquette Production and Supply Chain: Lessons Learned from Green Heat Ltd, Uganda
Gabriel Okello, Vianney Tumwesige, Ronald Angura, Daphne Nasige, Dorothy Kyomugisha and Mary Njenga

4. Adoption and Economic Impact of Briquettes as Cooking Fuel: The Case of Women Fish Smokers in Ghana
Solomie Gebrezgabher, Sena Amewu and Mary Njenga

5. Biogas as a Smart Investment for Women’s Empowerment and Livelihood Enhancement
Judith Libaisi and Mary Njenga

6. An Assessment of the Business Environment for Waste-to-energy Enterprises and How it Affects Women Entrepreneurs in Kenya
Solomie Gebrezgabher, Avinandan Taron, Jack Odero and Mary Njenga

7. Gender and Improvement of Cooking Systems with Biochar-producing Gasifier Stoves
James K. Gitau, Ruth Mendum and Mary Njenga

8. Women in Energy: Perspectives on Engaging Women Across the Energy Value Chain: The Case of wPOWER
Ruchi Soni, Wanjira Mathai, Linda Davis and Mary Njenga

9. Gender as Key in Community Participation
Megan Romania, Mary Njenga and Ruth Mendum

10. Challenges and Solutions for Gender Mainstreaming and Gender Integration in Research and Development
Ruth Mendum, Ana Maria Paez and Mary Njenga

11. Take-home Messages on Gender and Resource Recovery and Reuse (RRR) for Energy
Ruth Mendum and Mary Njenga

Topics: Age, Youth, Displacement & Migration, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Households, Infrastructure, Energy, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, East Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana, Kenya, Uganda

Year: 2018

Gender Specific Perspectives among Smallholder Farm Households on Water-Energy-Food Security Nexus Issues in Ethiopia

Citation:

Villamor, Grace B., Dawit Guta, Utkur Djanibekov, and Alisher Mirzabaev. 2018. “Gender Specific Perspectives among Smallholder Farm Households on Water-Energy-Food Security Nexus Issues in Ethiopia.” ZEF-Discussion Papers on Development Policy No. 258, Zentrum für Entwicklungsforschung / Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn.

Authors: Grace B. Villamor, Dawit Guta, Utkur Djanibekov, Alisher Mirzabaev

Abstract:

The water-energy-food security nexus concept is a widely recognized analytical approach to consider and achieve sustainable development goals. However, the water-energy-food security nexus concept has mostly been analyzed at higher scales in a top-down manner, while examples of bottom-up and local scale applications remain limited. Breaching this gap, the research presented in this paper describes and assesses the water-energy-food nexus from a smallholder farm household perspective in the context of rural Ethiopia through a gender-specific lens. We adopted the “Actors, Resources, Dynamics and Interactions” participatory approach to co-develop a mental model of this nexus concept. Using this approach, we were able to examine the key elements and interlinkages among major nexus related resources that affect management according to gender. The results indicate that there are four aspects that differentiate between male and female farm household management with respect to the water-energy-food nexus. These differences include gender specific productive roles, perceptions of target resources, access to external actors, and decision making with respect to target resource management and utilization, which may affect the dynamics and governance of important components of the water-energy-food nexus.

Keywords: ARDI method, bottom-up approach, energy-food-land linkages, gender roles, intrahousehold heterogeneity, mental model

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Gender Roles, Governance, Households, Infrastructure, Energy, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods, Security, Food Security, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Ethiopia

Year: 2018

Energy Use in Informal Food Enterprises: A Gender Perspective

Citation:

Matinga, Margaret N., Nthabiseng Mohlakoana, Jiska de Groot, Abigail Knox, and Hans Bressers. 2018. “Energy Use in Informal Food Enterprises: A Gender Perspective.” Journal of Energy in Southern Africa 29 (3): 1–9.

Authors: Margaret N. Matinga, Nthabiseng Mohlakoana, Jiska de Groot, Abigail Knox, Hans Bressers

Abstract:

The informal sector provides economic opportunities to the poor, and in sub-Saharan African countries it is dominated by women. Energy is a key input into the food sector enterprises. A study was carried out to review academic and non-academic literature on the use and gender impacts of modern energy in informal food enterprises. The review established that few studies have addressed energy for the informal food sector from a gender perspective. Although these few are qualitative in nature, they tend to lack in-depth analysis of gender and of the cause-and-effect linkages between modern energy use in the informal sector and the gendered goals of women and men. Moreover, a lack of understanding of gender from a relational perspective focusing on both women and men impeded conclusions on empowerment in terms of whether increased access to modern energy in the informal food sector contributes to closing the gender gap. This paper makes three key recommendations. First, scholars need to address the gaps and take a relational approach, so that studies are not just about women but also about the power relations between various groups of women and men. Secondly, policy needs to recognise that biomass is sometimes desired not just as an energy source but also for the flavour it imparts to food. Lastly, policy should be informed by the needs of informal enterprise owners and their customers, not by the general discourse in the energy sector that assumes that increased uptake of modern energy services makes positive contributions to enterprises.

Keywords: informal food sector, gender, energy use

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Infrastructure, Energy, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa

Year: 2018

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming in Renewable Energy Policies—Empowering Women in the Energy Value Chain in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

Citation:

Maduekwe, Monica, Ellen Morris, Jennye Greene, and Victoria Healey. 2019. “Gender Equity and Mainstreaming in Renewable Energy Policies—Empowering Women in the Energy Value Chain in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).” Current Sustainable/Renewable Energy Reports 6: 13–21.

Authors: Monica Maduekwe, Ellen Morris, Jennye Greene, Victoria Healey

Abstract:

Purpose of Review: Using practice theories as the analytical framework, this paper assesses the potential of the Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS) first ever regional policy on Gender Mainstreaming in Energy Access to produce the desired behavioral changes envisioned.

Recent Findings: The policy came to fruition after a multi-year, multi-stakeholder effort of research, advocacy, and consensus building; all spearheaded by an institution of the community, the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE). The success of the ECOWAS policy has led to the development of a related regional level legal instrument, monitoring protocols, institutional evolutions, as well as replication efforts in other African regions.

Summary: The policy’s provisions were aimed at changing the mind-sets and, eventually, behaviors of people concerned and were designed in order to increase its chances of successful implementation; however, the onus lies on the constituent governments of the community to provide incentives for its full and effective implementation in order to guarantee its success.

Keywords: gender-responsive energy policies, women's empowerment, ECOWAS, energy access, gender equality

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Governance, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Africa, West Africa

Year: 2019

Social and Economic Development of Rural Women in Uganda Using Solar Energy for Productive Use

Citation:

LaBiche, Monica, and Sherina Munyana. 2017. “Social and Economic Development of Rural Women in Uganda Using Solar Energy for Productive Use.” Paper presented at 2017 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, San Jose, CA, October 19-22.

Authors: Monica LaBiche, Sherina Munyana

Abstract:

Agriculture is the backbone of African economies, especially in rural areas where over 70% of people rely on subsistence farming for their livelihood. In Rwanda and Uganda, where Africa Development Promise (ADP) works, 90% of economically active women work in the agricultural sector. Overall women work more and longer hours compared to men because of additional household responsibilities such as preparing food, collecting fuelwood and water. This time deficit leaves no time for education or productive endeavors. The paper argues that access to new technologies that save time, especially tedious and laborious work, can have a significant positive impact on women’s efficiency, productivity and income-generating potential. It shares ADP’s shift from a single-entry economic development approach to a holistic approach that incorporates access to solar energy to support women’s economic endeavors. The paper is shared with organizations addressing similar challenges, but more importantly to seek feedback from development practitioners.

Topics: Agriculture, Education, Gender, Households, Infrastructure, Energy, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda, Uganda

Year: 2017

Gender, Culture and Energy Transitions in Rural Africa

Citation:

Johnson, Oliver W., Vanessa Gerber, and Cassilde Muhoza. 2019. “Gender, Culture and Energy Transitions in Rural Africa.” Energy Research & Social Science 49 (March): 169–79.

Authors: Oliver W. Johnson, Vanessa Gerber, Cassilde Muhoza

Abstract:

Research over the past two decades on links between energy, gender and development suggests that greater inclusion of gender concerns in energy sector decision-making improves development outcomes. In practice, this has typically led to gendered energy approaches that focus more on technological fixes rather than providing appropriate energy services, and on meeting women’s immediate needs rather than addressing the broader cultural, socio-economic and political contexts important for attaining genuine gender equity. In this paper, we take a systems perspective to explore gender issues in the context of a transition from traditional to modern energy services, such as lighting, powering appliances and charging mobile phones. Viewing gender through the lens of the Energy Cultures Framework, we analyse the case of the Mpanta solar mini-grid in rural northern Zambia. We find that the transition to more modern energy services is far from gender neutral: despite providing broad benefits within the community, the benefits derived from a new technology and service were not evenly distributed between men and women due to broader socio-cultural practices and norms. This paper extends the application of the Energy Cultures Framework in two important ways. Firstly, it incorporates an explicit gender dimension into the framework. Secondly, it applies the framework in a new context – rural energy transitions in low-income countries. In doing so, this paper offers important insights for research and practice in energy, gender and development.

Topics: Development, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Zambia

Year: 2019

The Power of Small-Scale Solar: Gender, Energy Poverty, and Entrepreneurship in Tanzania

Citation:

Gray, Leslie, Alaina Boyle, Erika Francks, and Victoria Yu. 2019. “The Power of Small-Scale Solar: Gender, Energy Poverty, and Entrepreneurship in Tanzania.” Development in Practice 29 (1): 26–39.

Authors: Leslie Gray, Alaina Boyle, Erika Francks, Victoria Yu

Abstract:

Energy poverty is a major challenge in the developing world, with an estimated 1.2 billion people lacking household electricity. Although energy poverty affects both men and women, the burden of household energy supply disproportionately affects women in low-income countries in the developing world. This article examines the impact of a women-oriented solar lighting social enterprise, Solar Sister, in Tanzania for both solar entrepreneurs and customers, demonstrating that solar lanterns positively impact household savings, health, education and women’s economic productivity and empowerment. Our study argues that Solar Sister’s approach is successful because of its explicit gender lens. Providing energy access to women translates to a pro-woman, pro-child, and pro-family development intervention.

Keywords: labour and livelihoods - poverty reduction, Sub-Saharan Africa, Gender and Diversity

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Education, Gender, Women, Health, Households, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Tanzania

Year: 2019

Energy 4 All? Investigating Gendered Energy Justice Implications of Community-Based Micro-Hydropower Cooperatives in Ethiopia

Citation:

Wiese, Katharina. 2020. “Energy 4 All? Investigating Gendered Energy Justice Implications of Community-Based Micro-Hydropower Cooperatives in Ethiopia." Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research 33 (2): 194–217.

Author: Katharina Wiese

Abstract:

More than 70% of the population in Ethiopia lack access to electricity and thus rely on conventional sources of energy such as biomass that is associated with negative consequences on health and the environment. Decentralized community-based micro-hydropower plants (MHPs) are being utilized as effective means to transition to modern low-carbon energy systems providing access to electricity to communities in remote areas. However, there exist a knowledge gap regarding energy justice dimensions and gendered impacts related to sustainable energy transitions in the Global South. This research investigates the gendered justice implications of low-carbon energy projects in the case of four community-based micro-hydropower projects in Ethiopia implemented by the German Development Cooperation (GIZ). Although the projects generally achieved positive outcomes for the lives of the villager’s socio-economic impacts on income; productive use, health and education affected men and women differently. The particular energy needs, uses and challenges that women face were insufficiently addressed and hence are limiting the opportunities for women to benefit equally from access to electricity. Generally, procedural justice aspects such as access to information, consultation and participation seemed to be insufficient to create a sense of ownership which in turn can jeopardize the long-term sustainability of the hydropower plants.

Keywords: energy justice, gender, community-based, micro-grid, hydropower, ethiopia

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Energy, Justice Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Ethiopia

Year: 2020

The Trade-off between Gender, Energy and Climate Change in Africa: The Case of Niger Republic

Citation:

Antwi, Sarpong Hammond. 2020. “The Trade-off between Gender, Energy and Climate Change in Africa: The Case of Niger Republic.” GeoJournal. doi:10.1007/s10708-020-10246-9.

Author: Sarpong Hammond Antwi

Abstract:

This article examines the role of gender in climate change adaptation and energy access in Africa. Drawing on the energy situation in Niger Republic, it argues that redressing gender concerns is critical to mitigating the impact of climate changes and energy poverty in the Sahelean country. A gender sensitivity analysis reveals that Niger is a take-off stage, a state of gender equity verified from the willingness of men to support women, as well as the entrepreneurial mindset of respondents coupled with supporting policies at both macro and micro levels. The study nonetheless recommends a more significant continental effort toward gender integration in energy planning processes. It also justifies the pursuance of alternative livelihood activities and an adjustment of policy frameworks towards universal energy access by 2030, as a means to breaking the vicious circle of limited income, increased vulnerability and narrowed opportunities that thwart gender equality and mainstreaming efforts in the country and across Africa.

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, Infrastructure, Energy, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Niger

Year: 2020

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