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Green Practices Are Gendered: Exploring Gender Inequality Caused by Sustainable Consumption Policies in Taiwan

Citation:

Wang, Sumei. 2016. “Green Practices Are Gendered: Exploring Gender Inequality Caused by Sustainable Consumption Policies in Taiwan.” Energy Research & Social Science 18 (August): 88–95.

Author: Sumei Wang

Abstract:

In the context of climate change, governments and international organizations often promote a “sustainable lifestyle.” However, this approach has been criticized for underestimating the complexity of everyday life and therefore being inapplicable to households and consumers. In addition, procedures for promoting sustainable consumption seldom incorporate domestic workers’ opinions and often increase women’s housework loads. This article employs a practice-based approach to examine the “Energy-Saving, Carbon Reduction” movement, a series of sustainable consumption policies that have been advocated by the Taiwanese government since 2008. The goal of the movement is to encourage an eco-friendly lifestyle. On the basis of empirical data collected through ethnographic interviews, this article argues that existing policies unexpectedly increase women’s burdens and exacerbate gender inequality.

Keywords: sustainable consumption, gender inequality, Taiwan, global warming

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Infrastructure, Energy, International Organizations Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: Taiwan

Year: 2016

Women and Nuclear Energy: Examining the Gender Divide in Opposition to Nuclear Power Among Swedish Citizens and Politicians

Citation:

Sundström, Aksel, and Aaron M. McCright. 2016. “Women and Nuclear Energy: Examining the Gender Divide in Opposition to Nuclear Power Among Swedish Citizens and Politicians.” Energy Research & Social Science 11 (January): 29–39.

Authors: Aksel Sundström, Aaron M. McCright

Abstract:

Whether or not there will be a ‘renaissance’ of nuclear power in the near future may depend upon the nature of support for this energy source among citizens and elected officials. Continued examination of the predictors of opposition to nuclear power therefore remains quite policy relevant. While the existing literature finds modest but consistent gender differences in attitudes towards nuclear power in the general publics of several Western countries, the robustness of this relationship has seldom been investigated across time or among elected officials. This paper addresses both of these gaps. First, analyzing nationally representative data from the Swedish general public between 1986 and 2011, we confirm that the theoretically expected gender divide in opposition to nuclear power-whereby women report greater opposition than do men-is indeed robust over time. Second, examining data from three recent surveys of elected officials at the local, regional, and national levels in Sweden, we find that female elected officials at each polity level report greater opposition to nuclear power than their male counterparts. Our results are consistent with the health and safety concerns argument, whereby women are less supportive than are men of technologies with considerable perceived health and safety risks.

Keywords: nuclear power, gender, public opinion, politicians

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Health, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Sweden

Year: 2016

Empowerment Through Energy? Impact of Electricity on Care Work Practices and Gender Relations

Citation:

Standal, Karina, and Tanja Winther. 2016. “Empowerment Through Energy? Impact of Electricity on Care Work Practices and Gender Relations.” Forum for Development Studies 43 (1): 27–45.

Authors: Karina Standal, Tanja Winther

Abstract:

Electricity provides a range of desirable services such as the electric light and the use of mobile phones and is regarded as a conditional factor for economic growth. Gender equality and women's empowerment are also promoted as a key to development on the international agenda. However, relatively little is known about how the advent of electricity in new contexts affects gender relations. The present analysis of electricity's impact on gender relations engages with the concepts of care work and empowerment. Based on two ethnographic case studies in rural communities in Uttar Pradesh, India, and Bamiyan, Afghanistan, we examine how and to what extent the introduction of electricity affected women’s care work practices and empowerment – and potentially transformed gender relations. We also draw on our own empirical material from other parts of India (West Bengal and Jharkhand). We find that electricity affected everyday life in terms of providing important resources and enhancing women’s opportunities to perform their expected role as care workers more efficiently and in a qualitatively better way. The women appreciated this positive effect of electricity in their everyday lives. However, we argue that in India, electricity at the same time reinforced structures of gender inequality such as patriarchy and dowry practices, and we trace this tendency to the conceptualisation of women as care workers in combination with conventional, gender ‘neutral’ electricity interventions. In contrast, there are signs that women’s status increased in the Afghanistan case, which we link to the unusual inclusion of women engineers in the electricity supply.

Keywords: electricity, gender relations, empowerment, care work, India, Afghanistan

Topics: Development, Economies, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Energy, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, India

Year: 2016

Is Mom Energy Efficient? A Study of Gender, Household Energy Consumption and Family Decision Making in Indonesia

Citation:

Permana, Ariva Sugandi, Norsiah Abd. Aziz, and Ho Chin Siong. 2015. “Is Mom Energy Efficient? A Study of Gender, Household Energy Consumption and Family Decision Making in Indonesia.” Energy Research & Social Science 6 (March): 78–86.

Authors: Ariva Sugandi Permana, Norsiah Abd. Aziz, Ho Chin Siong

Abstract:

This study highlights gender-related factors and attempts to understand their influence in residential energy consumption. This pilot study was done in Bandung City, Indonesia. It employed a questionnaire survey and face to face interviews. Questionnaires were randomly distributed to the households in Bandung City. In this study, energy consumption included household uses of power for lighting, entertainment, thermal comfort and cooking. Energy consumption was estimated based upon electrical and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) consumption. The results showed that when the decisions about energy expenditure and control of energy consumption in the household were solely made by a woman, energy consumption tended to be the lowest. There are three possible ways decision can be made, by the wife, husband and a joint decision. This evidence suggests several things. They are that (1) women are good household energy managers, (2) men may be careless with respect to energy consumption, (3) women may be more cautious about household expenditures, and (4) when joint decisions were made the husband and wife relied-upon-each-other in reaching agreement. This suggests useful entry points for energy efficient initiatives. 

Keywords: gender, control over expenditure, energy consumption

Topics: Gender, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Households, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Indonesia

Year: 2015

Toward a Gender Diverse Workforce in the Renewable Energy Transition

Citation:

Pearl-Martinez, Rebecca, and Jennie C. Stephens. 2016. “Toward a Gender Diverse Workforce in the Renewable Energy Transition.” Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy 12 (1): 8-15.

Authors: Rebecca Pearl-Martinez, Jennie C. Stephens

Abstract:

We explore gender diversity in the energy workforce and highlight the value of systematic assessment of women’s participation in the move toward sustainable renewable-energy systems. A gender imbalance in the energy sector workforce is apparent in countries throughout the world, yet women’s participation in, and contributions to, the energy industry have not been systematically characterized. As the energy sector transitions from fossil-fuel dominated systems toward more efficient, sustainable renewable-based systems, new opportunities for a more inclusive energy workforce are emerging. We are concerned, however, that if the energy industry does not prioritize gender diversity now, the renewable energy transition could perpetuate and deepen, rather than reduce, gender inequality. Although research demonstrates that diversity enhances innovation and creativity, there is minimal attention to considering and promoting diversity within the energy workforce. In this Community Essay we explore how greater consideration of the role of gender and the value of diversity in energy could provide multiple social benefits, including promoting more sustainable practices, accelerating innovation, enhancing women’s opportunities, and empowering communities to engage in energy-system change. 

Keywords: women, gender, renewables, sustainability, fossil fuels, Energy, transitions

Topics: Development, Environment, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Energy, Livelihoods

Year: 2016

Gender Issues of Biomass Production and Use in Africa

Citation:

Farioli, Francesca, and Touria Dafrallah. 2012. “Gender Issues of Biomass Production and Use in Africa.” In Bioenergy for Sustainable Development in Africa, edited by Rainer Janssen and Dominik Rutz, 345–61. Dordrecht: Springer.

Authors: Francesca Farioli, Touria Dafrallah

Abstract:

Energy is a basic necessity for survival and a key input to economic and social development. In Sub-Saharan Africa access to modern energy remains very low and the energy situation is still heavily dependent on traditional biomass that accounts for 80–90% of the countries energy balances. Lack of energy services is correlated with many elements of poverty, such a low education levels, inadequate health care, and limited employment and income generation possibilities. The energy-poverty nexus has distinct gender characteristics. Of the approximately 1–3 billion people living in poverty, it is estimated that 70% are women, many of who live in female–headed households in rural areas. In Sub-Saharan Africa, women have challenging roles on the energy scene as they are in charge of supplying their households with energy amongst other subsistence activities. This chapter looks into the impacts of biomass production and use on women health and livelihood. Literature and research studies by institutions involved in bioenergy and indoor air pollution are considered (World Health Organization, Partnership for Clean Indoor Air, Energia Network, COMPETE, etc.). Current energy policies in Africa seem to ignore the gender dimension of energy, although providing rural women with an affordable, reliable and clean energy source is a priority to effectively alleviate poverty. For any energy policy aiming at poverty reduction it is absolutely crucial not to neglect the fact that men and women have different energy needs due to their traditionally different roles and responsibilities within the households, and due to the unbalanced access to resources and decision-making. Nevertheless, the gender dimension of energy often remains invisible to most policy-makers. In many African countries biofuels production has recently gained significant interest. Private companies are investing in biofuels opportunities, as Africa seems to offer a good environment (available land, cheap labour and favorable climate). Unfortunately, policy and regulatory frameworks are not established to monitor the emerging private initiatives on biofuels that seem to focus on exports. This might worsen gender issues as women are economically and socially vulnerable and might be the main group to get marginalized. This chapter identifies relevant policy options related to social aspects of biomass production and use, as well as a set of recommendations how to engender biofuels policies.

Keywords: energy poverty, MDGs, bioenergy, health, livelihood, gender mainstreaming, engendering energy policies, land access, food security, income generation, policy recommendations

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Education, Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Health, Households, Infrastructure, Energy, International Organizations, Livelihoods, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa

Year: 2012

Impacts of Renewable Energy on Gender in Rural Communities of North-West China

Citation:

Ding, Wenguang, Lijun Wang, Baoyu Chen, Luan Xu, and Haoxu Li. 2014. “Impacts of Renewable Energy on Gender in Rural Communities of North-West China.” Renewable Energy 69: 180–9.

Authors: Wenguang Ding, Lijun Wang, Baoyu Chen, Luan Xu, Haoxu Li

Abstract:

This investigation compares the traditional energy structure with improved energy structures, and evaluates the impact of renewable energy on gender relations in rural communities in north-west China. The traditional energy consumption structure in rural communities in north-west China was based on biomass and coal. However, the improved energy consumption structures consist of renewable energy based on solar energy cookers, biogas digesters and energy saving stoves. Compared with traditional biomass-based energy consumption, renewable energy could significantly improve energy use efficiency and alter women's labour intensity, health status, living standards and even men's share of some cooking tasks. The field investigation data revealed that: women are free from having to collect firewood after integration use of renewable energy including biogas digesters, energy saving biomass stoves and solar energy cookers; the frequency of firewood collection, firewood collection quantity, time spent in firewood collection and human energy consumption of women have greatly decreased when traditional energy consumption structures are improved; using biogas can daily save 50% of cooking time for women; 91% of women use surplus funds from energy saving to buy clothes and cosmetics products; 3.1% of them enjoy travelling; and also use of clean energy devices can further reduce the risk of women exposed to indoor smoke pollution, and hence prevent women from possibly getting respiratory diseases. Therefore, it can be concluded that: gender is an important aspect of energy, which has previously been ignored by many researchers; gender does matter in the area of access to, ways of use, opportunities and control over energy; energy and women are linked in many diverse ways; technology change can drive cultural change; appropriate policies are needed to encourage technology up-take.

Keywords: energy structure, renewable energy, gender, rural community, China

Topics: Environment, Gender, Health, Infrastructure, Energy, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: China

Year: 2014

‘Women with No Femininity’: Gender, Race and Nation-Building in the James Bay Project.

Citation:

Desbiens, Caroline. 2004. “‘Women with No Femininity’: Gender, Race and Nation-Building in the James Bay Project.” Political Geography 23 (3): 347–66.

Author: Caroline Desbiens

Abstract:

This paper seeks to gender the nation-state through an analysis of the links between gender, colonial history and governmentality in Québec’s James Bay region. In the early 1970s, a new governmental framework was introduced in Northern Québec with the construction of a large-scale hydroelectric complex. The James Bay project coincided with an intensive period of nation-building by Francophones in the province, which led to the 1980 referendum on separation from Canada. Looking at the space of the labor camps, I explore the differential positioning of men and women in dominant narratives of the nation-state. While both men and women who worked in James Bay were cast as heroes of the nation, everyday geographies in the work camps reveal several axes of difference on the basis of gender, race and class. By looking at the production of these geographies and the dual positioning of women as both “outcasts” and “daughters” of the patriarchal state, I call for a broader understanding of difference in the elaboration of a feminist political geography.

Keywords: gender, labor, colonial history, nation-building, political geography

Topics: Class, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Infrastructure, Energy, Race Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2004

A Feminist Perspective on Carbon Taxes

Citation:

Chalifour, Nathalie J. 2010. “A Feminist Perspective on Carbon Taxes.” Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 22 (1): 169–212.

Author: Nathalie J. Chalifour

Abstract:

FRENCH ABSTRACT:
Il y a un besoin urgent d'adopter des politiques canadiennes efficaces pour contrer le changement climatique. On consacre beaucoup d'énergie au choix et à la conception d'instruments de politique optimale et les questions d'efficacité environnementale et d'efficience économique dominent le débat. Il est néanmoins tout aussi important d'analyser comment ces politiques vont agir sur différents segments de la société et de s'assurer qu'elles soient conçues de manière juste afin de ne pas aggraver les inégalités systémiques. Le présent article traite de cette question de justice sociale en examinant les taxes sur le carbone d'une perspective féministe, plus particulièrement en analysant comment les taxes sur le carbone produisent des conséquences pour les femmes. L'article propose une analyse de genres dans le cadre des taxes environnementales, qui va au-delà de l'évaluation des impacts distributionnels pour tenir compte aussi des impacts qui ne touchent pas le revenu, des implications de l'allègement connexe et des politiques concernant l'utilisation des revenus aussi bien que le résultat de la mise en oeuvre de ces taxes. L'application de ce cadre d'analyse à la taxe sur le carbone en Colombie-Britannique ainsi qu'à la redevance annuelle prélevée par le Québec révèle que les femmes vont vraisemblablement souffrir de façon disproportionnée des augmentations de coûts créées par les taxes sur le carbone. L'analyse démontre également que les politiques destinées à mitiger l'impact des taxes sur le carbone pour les familles à faible revenu ne tiennent pas compte des disparités de revenus entre les femmes et les hommes, ni du statut socio-économique des femmes. En conclusion, l'auteure recommande d'adopter des politiques concernant le coût du carbone qui évitent de perpétuer les inégalités systémiques actuelles entre les femmes et les hommes et qui pourraient même aider à corriger ces inégalités.
 
ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
Effective domestic policies are urgently needed to address climate change. A great deal of energy is devoted to selecting and designing the optimal policy instruments, with questions of environmental effectiveness and economic efficiency dominating the debate. However, it is equally important to consider how those policies will impact upon different segments of society and to ensure that they are designed in a way that is fair and does not further entrench systemic inequalities. This article approaches this social justice issue by examining carbon taxes from a feminist perspective, specifically considering how carbon taxes impact upon women. The article proposes the gender analysis of environmental taxes framework, which goes beyond the evaluation of distributional impacts to consider non-income impacts, implications of related mitigation, and revenue-use policies as well as the outcome of the measure. Applying the framework to British Columbia's carbon tax and Québec’s redevance annuelle reveals that women may bear a disproportionate burden of the increased prices created by carbon taxes. The article also demonstrates that policies designed to mitigate the impact of carbon taxes on low-income households do not address income disparities between women and men, nor do they take into account the socio-economic status of women. The author concludes with recommendations for developing carbon pricing policies that avoid perpetuating existing systemic inequalities between women and men and that might even help to overcome these inequalities.

Topics: Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Energy, Justice Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2010

From Rio to Beijing: Engendering the Energy Debate

Citation:

Cecelski, Elizabeth W. 1995. “From Rio to Beijing: Engendering the Energy Debate.” Energy Policy 23 (6): 561–75.

Author: Elizabeth W. Cecelski

Abstract:

New perspectives in the energy sector and new approaches to gender issues are especially conducive to reopening the debate on the role of women in energy policy and research. This article suggests that mutual concerns in energy fora and gender circles, jointly addressed, could further both the Rio energy programme goal of sustainable development, and the Beijing women’s agenda of development, equality and peace. While not exhaustive, specific neglected issues for gender research are pointed out here in areas of current and future energy policy concern: promoting the energy transition, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainable transport systems.

Keywords: women, energy policy, environment

Topics: Development, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Energy, Transportation, International Organizations

Year: 1995

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