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

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

Gender Implications of Biofuels Expansion in Africa: The Case of Mozambique


Arndt, Channing, Rui Benfica, and James Thurlow. 2011. “Gender Implications of Biofuels Expansion in Africa: The Case of Mozambique.” World Development 39 (9): 1649–62.

Authors: Channing Arndt, Rui Benfica, James Thurlow

Keywords: biofuels, Gender, growth, poverty, land abundance, Africa


We use a gendered dynamic CGE model to assess the implications of biofuels expansion in a low-income, land-abundant setting. Mozambique is chosen as a representative case. We compare scenarios with different gender employment intensities in producing jatropha feedstock for biodiesel. Under all scenarios, biofuels investments accelerate GDP growth and reduce poverty. However, a stronger trade-off between biofuels and food availability emerges when female labor is used intensively, as women are drawn away from food production. A skills-shortage among female workers also limits poverty reduction. Policy simulations indicate that only modest improvements in women’s education and food crop yields are needed to address food security concerns and ensure broader-based benefits from biofuels investments. (Summary from Elsevier)

Topics: Agriculture, Economies, Poverty, Education, Gender, Women, Infrastructure, Energy, Livelihoods, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Mozambique

Year: 2011

Men's Help-Seeking Attitudes in Rural Communities Affected by a Natural Disaster


Labra, Oscar, Robin Wright, Gilles Tremblay, Danielle Maltais, Ray Bustinza, and Gabriel Gingras-Lacroix. 2018. "Men's Help-Seeking Attitudes in Rural Communities Affected by a Natural Disaster." American Journal of Men's Health 13 (1).

Authors: Oscar Labra, Robin Wright, Gilles Tremblay, Danielle Maltais, Ray Bustinza, Gabriel Gingras-Lacroix


The article describes a mixed methods study of help-seeking in men living in the Chilean Central Valley, following exposure to a major earthquake event in 2010. The results identify that, within the sample, positive attitudes toward help-seeking correlated with younger age, higher education levels, above-average incomes, and stable personal relationships. It appears that education plays a significant role in shaping such positive attitudes, particularly by influencing views of gender roles and help-seeking. Conversely, older men’s reticence toward seeking help appeared linked to negative perceptions of available services and the influence of traditional notions of masculinity. The study concludes that adapting interventions and service offers to men’s needs in rural contexts must include an ecosystemic analysis of their reality and incorporate an understanding of masculinity socialization processes.

Keywords: men, help-seeking, rural, masculinity

Topics: Age, Class, Education, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Chile

Year: 2018

Gender Matters: Climate Change, Gender Bias, and Women’s Farming in the Global South and North


Glazebrook, Tricia, Samantha Noll, and Emmanuela Opoku. 2020. "Gender Matters: Climate Change, Gender Bias, and Women’s Farming in the Global South and North." Agriculture 10 (7).

Authors: Tricia Glazebrook, Samantha Noll, Emmanuela Opoku


Can investing in women’s agriculture increase productivity? This paper argues that it can. We assess climate and gender bias impacts on women’s production in the global South and North and challenge the male model of agricultural development to argue further that women’s farming approaches can be more sustainable. Level-based analysis (global, regional, local) draws on a literature review, including the authors’ published longitudinal field research in Ghana and the United States. Women farmers are shown to be undervalued and to work harder, with fewer resources, for less compensation; gender bias challenges are shared globally while economic disparities differentiate; breaches of distributive, gender, and intergenerational justices as well as compromise of food sovereignty affect women everywhere. We conclude that investing in women’s agriculture needs more than standard approaches of capital and technology investment. Effective ‘investment’ would include systemic interventions into agricultural policy, governance, education, and industry; be directed at men as well as women; and use gender metrics, for example, quotas, budgets, vulnerability and impacts assessments, to generate assessment reports and track gender parity in agriculture. Increasing women’s access, capacity, and productivity cannot succeed without men’s awareness and proactivity. Systemic change can increase productivity and sustainability.

Keywords: Africa/Ghana, climate change, farming/farmers, food security, gender inequality, global South/North, justice, hunger, land

Topics: Agriculture, Education, Gender, Women, Gender Budgeting, Governance, Quotas, Justice

Year: 2020

Gender in Japan: The Unseen Aspect of Natural Disaster Risks


Petraroli, Irene, and Jane Singer. 2020. "Gender in Japan: The Unseen Aspect of Natural Disaster Risks." Paper presented at the 3rd International Conference on Gender Research, University of Reading, April 2-3.

Authors: Irene Petraroli, Jane Singer


During a natural disaster, the role of gender is a sensitive but unexplored topic. Research is needed not only to improve existing policies in disaster risk reduction, but also to inspire new ways to strengthen disaster resilience through gender equality. This project based on disaster preparedness in Japan not only adds to the conference focus on women empowerment in a specific context, but also gives the opportunity to discuss gender beyond the dominant Western paradigms. The focus on disaster prevention is not casual. The scarcity of information and fora of discussion on gender is one of the reasons for Japan’s low level of gender equality. However, since disaster prevention is a universal concern, disaster education is the ideal opportunity to educate the public about gender awareness. In the current Japanese disaster education, gender is under- or mis-represented and the image of disaster differs from a realistic gendered experience. These problems led to the question “what is the public perception of gender-based disaster risk?”, and “does gender impact the perceptions of gender-based risks?”. To answer these questions, a survey based on behavioural-cognitive theory was designed to assess the public interest and the available information on gender during a disaster. Then, the responses were expanded and contextualised through observations, interviews and workshops. The results showed high interest for a gender perspective on disaster, but also significant differences between male and female respondents. The study also suggested a “cultural” understanding of gender in disaster based on the gendered stereotypes and expectations relied upon in case of disaster. 

Keywords: gender disaster risk, disaster risk communication, gender studies in Japan

Topics: Education, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Japan

Year: 2020

Analysis of Gender Responsiveness of Climate Change Response Strategies in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region


Nyahunda, Louis, Jabulani Calvin Makhubele, Vincent Mabvurira, and Frans Koketso Matlakala. 2019. "Analysis of Gender Responsiveness of Climate Change Response Strategies in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region." E-Bangi Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities 16 (9).

Authors: Louis Nyahunda, Jabulani Calvin Makhubele, Vincent Mabvurira, Frans Koketso Matlakala


This paper sought to explore the gender responsiveness of climate change response strategies in the Southern African Development Community region. There is undisputable acknowledgement that all SADC countries are vulnerable to climate change impacts despite their low contribution to carbon gas emissions that cause climate change. Women are more encumbered by climate change effects than men due to poverty, low literacy levels, lack of adaptive capacity, ascribed gender roles and cultural discrimination patterns that promote patriarchal dominance. Arguably, the gendered differential vulnerability between women and men to climate change impacts is absent in most climate policy frameworks in SADC. The objective of the study was to establish the responsiveness of climate change policies to gender dimensions in the SADC region. The study followed a literature review as research methodology. Secondary data sources were purposively reviewed through the selection of relevant sources by the researchers which led to the identification of other sources guided by common themes and keywords. Data was analysed through the discourse analysis. The study established that most climate change response strategies in SADC demonstrated apt consideration of the roles of women in climate change mitigation and adaptation. It was concluded that women are recognised as vulnerable populations and their contribution in devising sustainable climate change solutions is overlooked at policy levels. The study recommended that climate change interventions can only be effective when they mainstream gender and acknowledge the contribution of women as agents of social change and most SADC countries are still lagging behind.

Keywords: gender responsiveness, climate change, climate change response strategies, SADC, ecofeminism theory

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Education, Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Gender Roles, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy Regions: Africa, Southern Africa

Year: 2019


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