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Gender Equality/Inequality

Energy, Equality and Sustainability? European Electricity Cooperatives from a Gender Perspective

Citation:

Łapniewska, Zofia. 2019. “Energy, Equality and Sustainability? European Electricity Cooperatives from a Gender Perspective.” Energy Research & Social Science 57 (November).

Author: Zofia Łapniewska

Abstract:

The European electricity market and energy security have recently become heatedly discussed topics at the European Union level. In many countries, political and financial support for the transition towards renewable energy systems during the last two decades have encouraged the establishment of a substantial number of new electricity cooperatives. Cooperatives, as social enterprises, demonstrate attachment to values such as equity and equality in their actions, thus they might be perceived as women-friendly entities. However, little empirical research on that topic has been carried out in the European Union so far. The pilot study presented in this paper fills this gap by determining if gender perspective is reflected in the European electricity cooperatives’ declarations and actions and whether this perspective is related to cooperative size, adopted mode of governance and cultural determinants of the region/country. This paper shows why gender equality is valuable to electricity cooperatives and how the presented research results may be useful to practitioners, researchers and policy makers.

Keywords: electricity cooperatives, Energy, gender perspective, gender equality, European Union

Topics: Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, Governance, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Europe

Year: 2019

Women and the Energy Revolution in Asia

Citation:

Mohideen, Reihana. 2020. Women and the Energy Revolution in Asia. Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan.

Author: Reihana Mohideen

Keywords: energy technologies, social inclusion, gender and energy, energy in India, energy transitions, inclusive development, women's welfare, gender equity, social and technical relations, energy access, energy systems modeling

Annotation:

Summary:
This book examines the low-carbon energy transition taking place in developing Asia, in the context of persisting social and gender inequalities, the threat of climate change which has necessitated the decarbonisation of industry, and examines how developing Asia can ‘leap-frog’ the carbon-emitting stages that more developed economies have passed through, while simultaneously ‘leap-frogging’ social and gender equity gaps. The book uses the concept of ‘disruptive technologies’, an area of study that assesses the potential of certain technologies to disrupt the status quo and the concept of socio-technical frameworks, where social considerations are factored in to engineering systems and models. Using case studies and methodologies drawn from interdisciplinary approaches to engineering, and from development studies, science and technology studies and feminist approaches, it assesses how the low-carbon energy transition potentially provides poor women in developing Asia the opportunity to get on board at the early phase of these changes and influence and even transform their societies and lives. (Summary from Springer Link)

Topics: Development, Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Asia

Year: 2020

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

Energy Politics and Gender

Citation:

Standal, Karina, Tanja Winther, and Katrine Danielsen. 2018. “Energy Politics and Gender.” In The Oxford Handbook of Energy Politics, edited by Kathleen J. Hancock and Juliann Emmons Allison. Oxford University Press.

Authors: Karina Standal, Tanja Winther, Katrine Danielsen

Abstract:

Policy makers and scholars often assume gender to be irrelevant in energy politics. However, an increasing body of scholarship and development policies has focused on how gender discrimination has negative effects on women’s access to energy resources and equal contributions to decision-making processes that influence energy issues. This article evaluates four overarching and salient policy and research discourses that frame women’s and men’s positions in benefiting from and participating in decision-making about energy. First, energy has mainly been perceived as gender neutral, ignoring gendered outcomes of energy policies. Second, women have been presented as victims of energy poverty in the global South to instigate donors and action. Third, women’s empowerment in the global South has been presented as instrumental to increasing productivity and economic growth through access to modern sources and uses of energy. These discourses have produced narratives that provide limited imaginaries of women’s agency and relevance to the politics of energy in their lives. The fourth and less familiar discourse has presented women as rights holders of basic services, including access to modern and sustainable energy. This last discourse has provided a tool for examining the deeper unequal structures, as well as holding stakeholders in supply accountable for reproducing gender equality, needed to understand and produce relevant and socially just knowledge.

Keywords: gender, energy politics, energy access, electricity, cookstoves, development policy, energy justice

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Infrastructure, Energy, Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2018

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

Citation:

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

Abstract:

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

Gender Myths in Energy Poverty Literature: A Critical Discourse Analysis

Citation:

Listo, Romy. 2018. “Gender Myths in Energy Poverty Literature: A Critical Discourse Analysis.” Energy Research & Social Science 38 (April): 9–18.

Author: Romy Listo

Abstract:

There is increasing sensitivity to the importance of gender in energy poverty literature, although there remains relatively scant analysis of energy and gender from feminist development scholars. The purpose of this article is to contribute to addressing this gap. Its aims are two-fold; firstly, it provides a brief introduction to feminist development literature, and its relevance to the field of energy poverty. Secondly, the article presents the findings of a gendered or feminist Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) of energy poverty scholarship. It is argued that, at present, energy poverty discourse in academic literature constructs problematic ‘gender myths’ of women, gender equality and its relationship with energy. In doing so, the discourse instrumentalises women and gender for particular energy interventions, and does so at the expense of gender equality outcomes. As such, it highlights the need for greater attention by energy scholars, policy-makers and practitioners to feminist literature and concepts in both research and practice, and the continued inclusion of feminist scholars in interdisciplinary energy research teams.

Keywords: Energy, gender, poverty, women, discourse analysis, feminist

Topics: Development, Feminisms, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Energy

Year: 2018

Empowered by Electricity? The Political Economy of Gender and Energy in Rural Naryn

Citation:

Kim, Elena, and Karina Standal. 2019. “Empowered by Electricity? The Political Economy of Gender and Energy in Rural Naryn.” Gender, Technology and Development 23 (1): 1–18.

Authors: Elena Kim, Karina Standal

Abstract:

This article examines if and how access to electricity has contributed to women’s empowerment in the broader context of the political economy of gender and energy in rural Naryn, Kyrgyzstan. Earlier literature has pointed to how electricity provided through development interventions has facilitated a range of desirable services, conditional for children’s education, communication technologies and economic growth. Access to electricity has been linked to gender equality and women’s empowerment via providing women new opportunities for agency and income. The context of this article is rural Kyrgyzstan where electricity has been available since the 1970s as a service delivered by the centralized Soviet state. This study provides important insights into how this has affected local development and gender relations in a post-socialist country. It reveals the complexity of energy access and challenges the assumptions that access to modern energy such as electricity will lead to fulfillment of SDG#7 on affordable and clean energy or increased economic activity and abandonment of traditional energy use. The findings demonstrate that electricity provides an important resource for communication, income generation and household chores. However, the lack of reliability and affordability of electricity in rural areas in the larger context of post-Soviet transitional challenges and changing gender norms, has undermined women’s potential empowerment and has worked to maintain gender inequalities.

Keywords: gender, electricity, Energy, women's empowerment, Kyrgyzstan

Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Infrastructure, Energy, Political Economies Regions: Asia, Central Asia Countries: Kyrgyzstan

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

Gender and Indigenous Concepts of Climate Protection: A Critical Revision of REDD+ Projects.

Citation:

Löw, Christine. 2020. “Gender and Indigenous Concepts of Climate Protection: A Critical Revision of REDD+ Projects.” Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 43 (April): 91–8.

Author: Christine Löw

Abstract:

Gender inequality and discrimination challenge the most important international climate regime mechanism on forests REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries) in achieving sustainable development and protecting forests. The backgrounding of a gender-specific perspective in REDD+ research is often justified from the premise that forests are an inherently male business and REDD+ is only a technical issue. Although millions of women, predominantly indigenous women, are involved in forest work and forestry their importance for natural resource management has been systematically devalued and invisibilized. This paper reviews the gender literature on climate change and REDD+-projects to elaborate on gender-specific subordination of women, with a closer attention to indigenous women, which hinder effective forest protection, fair resource allocation, gender equality and social justice. The paper integrates an autonomous model for climate change adaption lead by indigenous women, that documents not only the local climatic effects on agriculture and forests but develops responses beyond the top downmodel of REDD+. Through relying on knowledge from decades about territories, seasons, trees and cultural life systems indigenous women together with youth and community members were able to sustain food sovereignty in the context of climate change – and the broader goal of people led sustainable development.

Topics: Development, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Infrastructure, Energy, Security, Food Security

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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