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South Asia

Women, Energy and Sustainable Development

Citation:

Shailaja, R. 2000. “Women, Energy and Sustainable Development.” Energy for Sustainable Development 4 (1): 45–64.

Author: R. Shailaja

Abstract:

Summary:
"Sustainable development is an equitable, empowering, environmentally sound, economically viable process of growth. Energy is the key indicator of sustainable development. About 74% of the population of India live in rural areas. 80% of their energy needs are derived from biomass. About 92% of this energy is consumed in cooking activity. Women play a major role in biofuel management. Rural women's perspective in sustainable development is therefore critical.

Declining biofuel resources, poor quality of the available biofuels and inefficient devices have pushed women into greater hardships. This paper examines the role of rural women in biomass management. The energy resources that rural women use, the strategy that the government and other organisations have adopted to alleviate rural energy problems and how these strategies have benefited women and improved their quality of life, the importance of incorporating the concept of ‘gender and development’ in alternative energy strategies to achieve the objectives of sustainable development are discussed in this paper" (Shailaja 2000, 45).

Topics: Development, Environment, Gender, Women, Households, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2000

Making the Clean Available: Escaping India’s Chulha Trap

Citation:

Smith, Kirk R., and Ambuj D. Sagar. 2014. “Making the Clean Available: Escaping India’s Chulha Trap.” Energy Policy 75: 410–4.

Authors: Kirk R. Smith, Ambuj D. Sagar

Abstract:

Solid cookfuel pollution is the largest energy-related health risk globally and most important cause of ill-health for Indian women and girls. At 700 million cooking with open biomass chulhas, the Indian population exposed has not changed in several decades, in spite of hundreds of programs to make the “available clean”, i.e. to burn biomass cleanly in advanced stoves. While such efforts continue, there is need to open up another front to attack this health hazard. Gas and electric cooking, which are clean at the household, are already the choice for one-third of Indians. Needed is a new agenda to make the “clean available”, i.e., to vigorously extend these clean fuels into populations that are caught in the Chulha Trap. This will require engaging new actors including the power and petroleum ministries as well as the ministry of health, which have not to date been directly engaged in addressing this problem. It will have implications for LPG imports, distribution networks, and electric and gas user technologies, as well as setting new priorities for electrification and biofuels, but at heart needs to be addressed as a health problem, not one of energy access, if it is to be solved effectively.

Keywords: household energy ladder, cooking fuel, household air pollution, energy access, LPG, biomass stoves

Topics: Development, Economies, Environment, Women, Girls, Health, Households, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2014

Energy in the Development Strategy of Indian Households—the Missing Half

Citation:

Sudhakara Reddy, B., and Hippu Salk Kristle Nathan. 2013. “Energy in the Development Strategy of Indian Households—the Missing Half.” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 18 (February): 203–10.

Authors: B. Sudhakara Reddy, Hippu Salk Kristle Nathan

Abstract:

There is a growing consensus that universalization of modern energy services is central to reducing major elements of poverty and hunger, to increase literacy and education, and to improve health care, employment opportunities, and lives of women and children. In India, as per 2011 census, over 700 million people lack access to modern energy services for lighting, cooking, water pumping and other productive purposes. Devoid of these services people, mostly women, are forced to spend significant amounts of their time and effort on subsistence activities like firewood collection, carrying these head load for miles, and then burning these hard earned fuels inefficiently in traditional chullas. These adversely affect the health and standard of living for women and act as a barrier to gender development (here ‘gender’ means women unless otherwise specified). Although the links between gender inequity, poverty, and energy deprivation have been studied by many, not many practical solutions to the above problems have emerged. The present paper explores the nexus among gender–energy–poverty, highlights areas of gender concern, and suggests actions. We analyze how women from rural areas and low income households are at the receiving ends of energy poverty. We then analyze the roles women as an important stakeholders in universalizing modern energy services. We show how women self-help groups can be a vital link in large-scale diffusion of energy-efficient and renewable technologies. The paper concludes with policy pointers for sustainable development and gender empowerment through energy solutions.

Keywords: domestic energy sector, gender, entrepreneurs, energy poverty, self help groups

Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Education, Gender, Women, Health, Households, Infrastructure, Energy, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2013

Taxation and Gender Equity: A Comparative Analysis of Direct and Indirect Taxes in Developing and Developed Countries

Citation:

Valodia, Imraan and Caren Grown. 2010. Taxation and Gender Equity: A Comparative Analysis of Direct and Indirect Taxes in Developing and Developed Countries. New York: Routledge; Ottawa: International Development Research Centre.

Authors: Imraan Valodia, Caren Grown

Annotation:

Summary:
Around the world, there are concerns that many tax codes are biased against women, and that contemporary tax reforms tend to increase the incidence of taxation on the poorest women while failing to generate enough revenue to fund the programs needed to improve these women’s lives. Because taxes are the key source of revenue governments themselves raise, understanding the nature and composition of taxation and current tax reform efforts is key to reducing poverty, providing sufficient revenue for public expenditure, and achieving social justice. This book presents original research on the gender dimensions of personal income taxes, value-added excise and fuel taxes in Argentina, Ghana, India, Mexico, Morocco, South Africa, Uganda, and the United Kingdom. It will be of interest to postgraduates and researchers studying public finance, international economics, development studies, gender studies, and international relations, among other disciplines. (Summary from International Development Research Centre)

Topics: Development, Economies, Public Finance, Poverty, Gender, Women Regions: Africa, MENA, East Africa, North Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa, Americas, North America, South America, Asia, South Asia Countries: Argentina, Ghana, India, Mexico, Morocco, South Africa, Uganda, United States of America

Year: 2010

Clean, Renewable Energy: Improving Womens' Lives in South Asia

Citation:

Mohideen, Reihana. 2013. “Clean, Renewable Energy: Improving Womens' Lives in South Asia.” IEEE Technology and Society Magazine 32 (3): 48–55.

Author: Reihana Mohideen

Abstract:

As feminist scholars have long argued, there are no purely technological solutions to achieving progress on gender equity and women’s empowerment. Nevertheless, in rural South Asia, where many women’s lives are marked by gender inequalities, access to clean and renewable energy technology and services can make a difference if those resources are also targeted at improving women’s access and welfare. This, however, compels us to go beyond the meter. Special social and technical interventions that simultaneously target energy access and gender equity are necessary.

Keywords: renewable energy sources, Asia, gender issues, electricity, government policies, gender equity, social factors, Africa

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, Governance, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Asia, South Asia

Year: 2013

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

Gender and Rural Energy Technologies: Empowerment Perspective—A Case Study of Nepal

Citation:

Mahat, Ishara. 2006. “Gender and Rural Energy Technologies: Empowerment Perspective—A Case Study of Nepal.” Canadian Journal of Development Studies / Revue Canadienne d’Études du Développement 27 (4): 531–50.

Author: Ishara Mahat

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
This paper analyzes whether alternative energy technologies have been able to lift the socio-economic status of rural women in Nepal, and mountain women in particular, in terms of saving their labour and time spent in managing household energy. It also examines if these technologies have provided increasing opportunities for women to be involved in socio-economic activities in rural villages. It is based on research conducted in Kavre, one of the jirst districts where the Rural Energy Development Program (REDP), supported by the UNDP, implemented micro hydro plants and other rural energy technologies.

FRENCH ABSTRACT:
L'auteure présente une analyse où elle tente de déterminer si les technologies énergétiques alternatives ont pu rehausser le statut socioéconomique des femmes du Népal qui vivent en milieu rural, notamment celles des régions montagneuses, en leur permettant d'épargner le temps qu'elles consacraient aux tâches nécessaires pour gérer l'éergie du ménage. Elle examine également si ces technologies ont donné aux femmes plus d'occasions de participer aux activités socioéconorniques des villages ruraux. L'article repose sur une recherche réalisée à Kavre, l'un des premiers districts où le programme de déeloppement énergétique en milieu rural (REDP), qu'appuie le PNUD, a servi à mettre en place des microcentrales hydroélectriques et d'autres technologies énergétiques rurales.

Topics: Economies, Gender, Women, Households, Infrastructure, Energy, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2006

Rural Energy Planning and Policies in Nepal: Gender Perspectives

Citation:

Mahat, Ishara. 2004. “Rural Energy Planning and Policies in Nepal: Gender Perspectives.” Journal of Resources, Energy and Development 1 (1): 19–41.

Author: Ishara Mahat

Abstract:

Women in rural Nepal are heavily involved in managing household energy systems. They spend a large proportion of their time and energy in collecting firewood and processing food grain. For instance, a woman in Nepal’s rural mountainous area spends four to six hours in collecting a bundle firewood. Being the primary users and managers of household energy, women are very careful in ensuring efficient energy use. Indeed, they possess indigenous knowledge and skills in energy production and management. Despite this reality, Nepal’s planners and policy-makers – who are usually male – rarely consider rural energy problems from the perspective of women. Rural energy interventions are planned and designed with the aim of saving fuel rather than that of reducing human drudgery or opening up new development opportunities for women and men. This paper analyses the issues and challenges facing Nepal’s rural energy sector and makes some policy recommendations with a focus on gender-based plans and policies. A gender-sensitive planning framework indicating long-term goals, medium-term objectives, and relevant indicators has been designed to provide planners with a basis to integrate gender into rural energy planning and policies.

Topics: Gender, Governance, Households, Indigenous, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2004

Household Energy, Women’s Hardship and Health Impacts in Rural Rajasthan, India: Need for Sustainable Energy Solutions

Citation:

Laxmi, Vijay, Jyoti Parikh, Shyam Karmakar, and Pramod Dabrase. 2003. “Household Energy, Women’s Hardship and Health Impacts in Rural Rajasthan, India: Need for Sustainable Energy Solutions.” Energy for Sustainable Development 7 (1): 50–68.

Authors: Vijay Laxmi, Jyoti Parikh, Shyam Karmakar, Pramod Dabrase

Annotation:

Summary:
"The use of unprocessed bio-fuels for cooking is interlinked with many other factors such as socio- economic conditions, availability of alternative fuels, cooking practices, health impacts, gender equality, and housing characteristics. To examine these factors and their linkages, we collected data through a large and comprehensive survey covering perhaps the largest sample of 58,768 individuals in 10,265 rural households from three states in northern India, viz., Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh. We included socio-economic variables, smoking habits, fuels used, characteristics of the kitchen, cooking practices, 19 types of health symptoms, etc. 

In this paper, we report on analysis of the data collected only from the rural areas of Rajasthan, covering 6,403 females and 5,552 males from 1,989 households in 13 villages. The results reveal that women undergo a lot of drudgery due to the use of bio-fuels. They walk approximately 2.5 km to collect fuel-wood. About 50 hours per month per household are expended in fuel-wood collection and transportation. The use of kerosene for cooking is negligible in the area, because of unavailability more than non-affordability. The people in the rural areas of Rajasthan are willing to pay for kerosene, the next fuel on the energy ladder above bio-fuels. It is estimated that even at a price of Rs. 13 per litre, which is higher than the market price, about 34 % of households are willing to buy additional quantities of kerosene for cooking. Therefore there is a need to meet this unmet demand by addressing market failures.

The health impacts of the use of bio-fuels are quite high for adult women. The linkages between many socio-economic variables and respiratory symptoms in adult women show that health impacts can be reduced by increasing female literacy, reducing the use of bio-fuels, and changing the housing design by, for example, introducing ventilation or separating the kitchen from the living area.

The losses incurred because of cooking fuels, including work days spent, expenditure on illness and lost working days due to illness are Rs. 29 billion per year in the rural areas of Rajasthan. By minimizing these losses even by some fraction, one can give a boost to the rural economy and improve women’s welfare. For this we need coordinated, consistent and focused cooperation of all the stakeholders at the grassroots, policy-making and implementation levels. Action-oriented programmes should include a treatment strategy at public health centres to help suffering women" (Laxmi et al 2003, 50).

Topics: Economies, Education, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health, Households, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2003

Case-Study: Battery-Operated Lamps Produced by Rural Women in Bangladesh

Citation:

Khan, Hasna J. 2003. “Case-Study: Battery-Operated Lamps Produced by Rural Women in Bangladesh.” Energy for Sustainable Development 7 (3): 68–70.

Author: Hasna J. Khan

Annotation:

Summary:
“Through consultations with community members and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) about energy needs in an area of remote islands outside the reach of the grid, electric lighting was identified as a high priority. The project identified a low-cost solution for improving the quality of indoor lighting of rural households by replacing the traditional kerosene lamps with modern battery-operated lamps. The project trained rural women to produce the lamps in a micro-enterprise manufacturing facility and distribute them through rural markets. By helping women shift away from traditional farm labour to skilled labour and gainful employment in the energy sector, the project has elevated the knowledge base of rural women and exposed them to mainstream commercial activities, while also meeting community needs for lighting” (Khan 2003, 68).

Topics: Economies, Gender, Women, Infrastructure, Energy, Livelihoods, NGOs Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2003

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