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Gender, Domestic Energy and Design of Inclusive Low-Income Habitats: A Case of Slum Rehabilitation Housing in Mumbai, India


Sunikka-Blank, Minna, Ronita Bardhan, and Anika Nasra Haque. 2019. “Gender, Domestic Energy and Design of Inclusive Low-Income Habitats: A Case of Slum Rehabilitation Housing in Mumbai, India.” Energy Research & Social Science 49 (March): 53–67.

Authors: Minna Sunikka-Blank, Ronita Bardhan, Anika Nasra Haque


Women's involvement in decision-making in domestic energy remains an under-researched area, especially in the urban context. This research adopts a gendered perspective in exploring slum rehabilitation housing in India. Based on a household survey and a focus group discussion (FGD), women’s household and working practices are explored in interview narratives and systems analysis. The findings show that the relocation to slum re- habilitation housing (SRH) has radically changed women’s household routines (cooking, comfort, childrearing, working and entertainment practices) and that women are more affected by the relocation than men. Changed practices, poor design of SRH and lack of outdoor space have radically increased electricity use and living costs in all the surveyed households. The economic pressure forces women into lowly paid jobs or informal economy, creating a vicious circle where women’s time poverty further reduces their social capital and opportunities for self-development in terms of education or formal employment. A comparison of SRH typologies shows that building design has great influence both on gendered use of space and electricity use, advocating a courtyard typology. Further, interviews with policy-makers reveal a dis-juncture between the occupant realities and the policy objectives. The paper argues that gender equality can and should be influenced through energy and housing policies and offers a conceptual framework for inclusive SRH to address this dis-juncture.

Keywords: gender, domestic energy use, inequality, design, slum rehabilitation housing

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

Year: 2019

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


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


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

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


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


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 in the Development Strategy of Indian Households—the Missing Half


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


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

Dark Homes and Smoky Hearths: Rural Electrification and Women


Mathur, Jaskiran Kaur, and Dhiraj Mathur. 2005. “Dark Homes and Smoky Hearths: Rural Electrification and Women.” Economic and Political Weekly 40 (7): 638–43.

Authors: Jaskiran Kaur Mathur, Dhiraj Mathur


It is commonly argued by power utilities that rural electrification is commercially unviable and is responsible for the financial mess state electricity boards are in. This paper examines rural electrification from a socio-developmental perspective and argues that the direct and indirect benefits of rural electrification in reducing the burden on women, its positive impact on health, education and farm income, justifies the expense of network expansion for universal access. It also advocates multiple uses of electricity as this would enhance these benefits, have a beneficial effect on the environment, increase the viability of rural electrification and result in savings on household (total) energy expenditure.

Topics: Development, Economies, Education, Environment, Gender, Women, Health, Infrastructure, Energy

Year: 2005

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


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


"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

Factors Influencing the Effects of Large-Scale Land Acquisition on the Livelihood of Smallholder Farmers in the Pru District of Ghana


Quansah, Charles, Agyemang Frimpong, and Ronald Osei Mensah. 2020. “Factors Influencing the Effects of Large-Scale Land Acquisition on the Livelihood of Smallholder Farmers in the Pru District of Ghana.” European Scientific Journal 16 (11): 159-77.

Authors: Charles Quansah, Agyemang Frimpong, Ronald Osei Mensah


This study is undertaken to find out the factors influencing the effects of large-scale land acquisition on the livelihood of smallholder farmers in the Pru district. An important driver for large-scale land acquisition in Ghana, and the rest of Africa, is the growing global demand for biofuels and other plantations. Methodologically, mixed method approach was adopted by applying both quantitative and qualitative research designs. Quantitative data was obtained through a cross-sectional survey from smallholder farming households in the study communities of the Pru District with the help of a multi-stage sampling technique and cluster sampling technique. Qualitative data was obtained through Focus Group Discussions (FGD) from farmer- based associations in the Pru district. The Pru district in the Bono East region was purposively selected based on the reason that it is the most affected district with activities of land grabbing in Ghana. Based on the sample frame of 2,554 households in the communities, a sample size of 346 was used for the study out of which 332 were households and 14 were investors and traditional authorities. The study revealed that household heads’ level of education, sex of household heads, household engagement in off-farm activities, total farm land owned by a household, size of land lost by households to large-scale land investors, households’ participation in decision making, and training of households for other alternative jobs significantly influence large-scale land acquisition on the livelihood of smallholder farming households. The study found out that the higher the level of education of a household head, the lesser the household suffers the adverse effects of losing their farm land to large- scale land investors hence their livelihoods. It was revealed that some major factors that influenced large-scale land acquisition in the Pru district were the availability of land for the cultivation of plantations by investors, the soil fertility of the land in the district and the freedom and peace enjoyed by investors to go about their businesses and enjoying good tax exemptions in such an environment thus Pru district.

Keywords: large-scale land acquisition, livelihood, smallholder farmers, household, household head, Pru district

Topics: Agriculture, Education, Gender, Households, Land grabbing Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2020

Linking Women and Energy at the Local Level to Global Goals and Targets


Havet, Ines. 2003. “Linking Women and Energy at the Local Level to Global Goals and Targets.” Energy for Sustainable Development 7 (3): 75–9.

Author: Ines Havet


“In September 2000, at the Millennium Summit in New York, world leaders agreed to a set of time-bound, measurable goals and targets to be achieved by 2015 of combating poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation and discriminations against women. Placed at the heart of the United Nations’ global agenda, they are called the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) [United Nations, 2002].

“While there is no MDG on energy, it is clear that expanded access to energy services for the third of humanity that does not have electricity or modern fuels is an essential prerequisite to meeting all of the MDGs. The delivery of health, education and sanitation services, as well as value-adding economic opportunities to reduce poverty, requires energy inputs” (Havet 2003, 75).


Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Education, Environment, Gender, Women, Infrastructure, Energy

Year: 2003

Challenges in Women’s Mental Health: Care in Conflict and Post-Conflict Situations


Niaz, Unaiza, and Qudsia Tariq. 2020. "Challenges in Women’s Mental Health: Care in Conflict and Post-Conflict Situations." In Mental Health and Illness of Women, edited by Pradha S. Chandra, Helen Herman, Jane Fisher, and Anita Riecher-Rössler, 109-24. Singapore: Springer, Singapore.

Authors: Unaiza Niaz, Qudsia Tariq


Women usually do not pledge wars, but they do suffer profoundly from the penalties. Conflict spurs much higher rates of violence and traumas. It renders women acutely vulnerable to sexual abuse, poverty, and the loss of employment and the destruction of assets such as homes. Essential health services crumble, underlined by high mortality rate in conflict and post-conflict countries.
This chapter focuses on the challenges faced by women in the underdeveloped countries who had experienced war and terror for a long time and are at present struggling through their economic crisis and survival. It would be addressing the gender-based violence issues, the role of women in politics, and their rights to justice, education, and health-care services. It would also be addressing the biggest concern or aftermath of war like sexual violence and mental health and the stigmas attached with it.

Keywords: gender based violence, healthcare services, mental health stigma, sexual violence

Topics: Armed Conflict, Economies, Poverty, Conflict, Education, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Health, Mental Health, Trauma, Justice, Political Participation, Rights, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Violence

Year: 2020

Impact of Land Acquisition on Women: An Anthropological Case Study on Gokulpur, Paschim Medinipur (India)


Majumder, Arup. 2014.  “Impact of Land Acquisition on Women: An Anthropological Case Study on Gokulpur, Paschim Medinipur (India).” International Journal of Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Studies (IJIMS) 1 (4): 26-34.

Author: Arup Majumder


The acquisition of agricultural land for industrialisation leads to a number of socio-economic consequences. The Paschim Medinipur district in the state of West Bengal is chiefly an agricultural district where more than seventy per cent of the population lives in the rural area and among them majority depends on agriculture and agriculture related occupations. In this paper, we have presented some empirical data on the socio- economic consequences of women of the establishment of the industry on the fertile agricultural land in the Kharagpur subdivision of Paschim Medinipur district in the early 1990s with the cooperation of West Bengal government.The findings revealed that acquisition of agricultural land for industry leads to change among the women as well as children of landloser families who depended on agriculture for their livelihood. Field data showed that the school dropout rate among female members of landloser families have been increased than nonlandloser families. This study has also showed that after the acquisition, livelihood pattern have been changed among the female members of landloser families. Moreover the “age at marriage” have been decreased among the girls of landloser families than non- landloser families.

Keywords: land acquisition, landloser, women, gender, dropout, age at marriage, Industrialisation

Topics: Agriculture, Education, Gender, Land grabbing, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2014


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