Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

Gender Mainstreaming

Engendering the Energy Transition


Clancy, Joy, Gül Özerol, Nthabiseng Mohlakoana, Mariëlle Feenstra, and Lillian Sol Cueva, eds. 2020. Engendering the Energy Transition. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Authors: Joy Clancy, Gül Özerol, Nthabiseng Mohlakoana, Mariëlle Feenstra, Lillian Sol Cueva

Keywords: gender and energy, energy transition, gender and development, sustainable development, gender and energy poverty, gender equality, sustainable energy for all, climate change mitigation, ecofeminism, energy poverty, feminist political ecology, neoliberalism


This book brings together diverse contributions exploring the integration of gender equality in current national energy policies and international energy frameworks across the Global South and North. Taking a multi-disciplinary approach, this collection contributes to building a body of independent empirical evidence about the impacts of the energy transition on socio-economic outcomes, with a focus on gender differentiated choices of energy forms.

The book includes short reflections in each chapter allowing the reader to explore the content from an alternative perspective. The common thread enabling the book to actively contribute to engendering the energy transition is its approach to the topic from a primarily ‘gender’ driven perspective. The book draws many useful lessons from practice and shares gender mainstreaming tools for use across the Global South and the North. Such an approach brings novel insights from theoretical, methodological and practical perspectives, which further promotes cross-disciplinary learning and will be of interest to researchers and practitioners from across the Energy and Gender disciplines. (Summary from Springer)


Table of Contents:

1. Engendering the Energy Transition: Setting the Scene
Joy Clancy, Gül Özerol, Nthabiseng Mohlakoana, Mariëlle Feenstra, Lillian Sol Cueva

2. Energy Transition and Gender in the Informal Street Food Sector in Africa
Maïmouna Diouf, Nthabiseng Mohlakoana, Secou Sarr, Bacary Seydi

3. Gender, Firewood and Health: The Potential of Ethnography to Inform Policy and Practice
Margaret Matinga, Joy Clancy

4. Gender-Sensitive Analysis of Water Governance: Insights for Engendering Energy Transitions
Gül Özerol, Leila M. Harris

5. Bargaining Climate Adaptation through a Gender Lens: An Inquirty into Decision-Making Processes in Tanzanian Farm Households
Katrien Van Aelst, Nathalie Holvoet

6. On the Possibility and Politics of Feminist Energy Analytics in University Campus Spaces
Ingrid L. Nelson

7. How Gender Equality Principles Are Integrated in National Energy Polices and Frameworks
Ana Rojas, Maria Prebble

8. A View from the North: Gender and Energy Poverty in the European Union
Mariëlle Feenstra, Joy Clancy

9. Climate Finance Allocation Practices to Support Gender Responsive Energy Transitions: GCF Case-Study
Svetlana Frenova

10. Reflection on “Energy Transition and Gender in the Informal Street Food Sector in Africa”
Henny A. Romijn

11. Reflection on “Gender, Firewood and Health”
María Cristina Osorio Vázquez

12. Reflection on “Gender-Sensitive Analysis of Water Governance: Insights for Engendering Energy Transitions”
Morag Goodwin

13. Reflection on “Bargaining Climate Adaptation through a Gender Lens: An Inquirty into Decision-Making Processes in Tanzanian Farm Households”
Charlotte Ray

14. Why a Feminist Political Ecology Approach Is Relevant for Assessing Energy Access in Developing Countries
Annemarije Kooijman

15. Reflection on “How Gender Equality Principles Are Integrated in National Energy Polices and Frameworks”
Maryse Helbert

16. Reflection on “A View from the North: Gender and Energy Poverty in the European Union”
Mariama Williams

17. Reflection on “Climate Finance Allocation Practices to Support Gender Responsive Energy Transitions: GCF Case-Study"
Andrea Rodriguez Osuna

18. Reflections on Kick-Starting Lasting Change: From Policy to Practice and Beyond
Charlotte Taylor

19. Reflections from a Feminist Political Ecology Perspective
Wendy Harcourt

20. Reflection on Gender Research Informing Development Policy on Energy and Climate
Frank van der Vleuten

21. Reflection on Engendering the Energy Transition
Joy Clancy

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

Year: 2020

Really Effective (for 15% of the Men): Lessons in Understanding and Addressing User Needs in Climate Services from Mali


Carr, Edward R. and Sheila N. Onzere. 2018. “Really Effective (for 15% of the Men): Lessons in Understanding and Addressing User Needs in Climate Services from Mali.” Climate Risk Management 22: 82-95.

Authors: Edward R. Carr, Sheila N. Onzere


"If we are to design and implement climate services that truly help users address their weather- and climate-related vulnerabilities, we must understand who our users are in all of their diversity, what challenges these different users face, whether or not weather and climate information can address any of these challenges, and what information best addresses these challenges for different members of the same user population. Simply put, it is possible to design climate services that, in the context of a specific stressor for a specific group of people, work brilliantly, but when applied to a wider group of users for new purposes, fail dramatically. Our work assessing Mali’s l’Agence Nationale de la Météorologie’s (Mali Meteo) Agrometeorological Advisory Program serves to illustrate this important lesson, one which can inform the design and scaling-up of climate services for development, as well as the monitoring and evaluation of such services, going forward" (Carr & Onzere 2018, 83).

Topics: Development, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Gender Mainstreaming Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Mali

Year: 2018

Gender in the Jungle: A Critical Assessment of Women and Gender in Current (2014–2016) Forestry Research


Asher, Kiran, and G. Varley. 2018. “Gender in the Jungle: A Critical Assessment of Women and Gender in Current (2014–2016) Forestry Research.” International Forestry Review 20 (2): 149–59.

Authors: Kiran Asher, G. Varley


Fields and forests are gendered spaces. Women's crucial contributions to productive and reproductive work within and beyond the household have been made visible since the 1970s. There has also been a persistent call for mainstreaming gender in sustainable development and environmental concerns. Prior work discusses the importance of women and gender for forests, and provides guidelines and methods to integrate them in forestry research. This paper assesses the uptake of women and gender issues in recent (2014-2016) forestry research. We found that women and gender concerns are still largely absent or inadequately addressed in forestry research published in scientific journals. Despite the call for greater gender integration in forestry, much needs to be done in quantitative and qualitative terms to meet this goal.

Keywords: women, forestry, gender, gender mainstreaming, gender relations of power

Topics: Development, Environment, Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming

Year: 2018

Forty Years of Gender Research and Environmental Policy: Where Do We Stand?


Arora-Jonsson, Seema. 2014. “Forty Years of Gender Research and Environmental Policy: Where Do We Stand?” Women’s Studies International Forum, Special Issue on Gender, Mobility and Social Change - Guest Edited by Lena Nare and Parveen Akhtar 47: 295–308.

Author: Seema Arora-Jonsson


Forty years of gender research has ensured that gender is an important category that needs to be taken into account in environmental policy and practice. A great deal of finances and attention are currently being directed to gender in development and environmental organizations. At the same time, as gender research has become more sophisticated and theoretically strong, there is also frustration among academic researchers as well as practitioners and policy makers that it appears to have had a marginal effect on environmental practice on the ground.

Policies have turned to gender mainstreaming, attempted to include women and other marginalized social groups in environmental management and markets. Change has been mixed. Mainstreaming can become a technocratic exercise. The assumption that competing interests can be negotiated by adding women to organizations for environmental governance, in disregard for social relations, is problematic. Stereo-types about women and men, sometimes buttressed by gender research predominate in policy and programs. Inclusion in markets offer new options but can further curb women's agency. Contradictions arise - as gender becomes a part of the official machinery, when women are regarded as a collective but addressed as individuals in programs and when the focus is on the governance of gender with little attention on the gender of neoliberal governance. Yet, support for ‘gender programs’ has also led to unintended openings for empowerment. It is clear that the meaning of gender is far from settled and there are intensified efforts to define what ‘gender’ is in each context. I discuss the renewed interest in gender and what this engagement with power might mean for gender research, policy and practice and where we might go from here. (Summary from original source)

Topics: Development, Environment, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gender Mainstreaming

Year: 2014

Gender-Sensitive Approaches and Issues of Urban Climate Changes: Benefits and Challenges


Sogani, Reetu, and K. R. Viswanathan. 2020. “Gender-Sensitive Approaches and Issues of Urban Climate Changes: Benefits and Challenges.” In Urban Spaces and Gender in Asia, edited by Caroline Brassard and Divya Upadhyaya Joshi, 177–96. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Authors: Reetu Sogani, K. R. Viswanathan


Climate change is increasingly recognised as one of the most challenging issues which is being experienced by humanity today. Though many researches and studies have acknowledged that women and the marginalised are the first and worst sufferers, solutions suggested to address the issues are ironically primarily technical and economically oriented. Human and gender dimensions are touched upon only by a few. At the same time, majority of the studies have based their research on climate change in rural areas, though in low and middle income countries like India, tremendous population growth is being experienced in secondary and small cities, aggravating the impacts of climatic variability and extreme events. This certainly conveys an urgency for studies covering all the three categories simultaneously: gender, climate change and urban areas, in developing countries. Thankfully, the importance of addressing these emerging issues in the urban context has increasingly been recognised now. The impact of gender-sensitive approaches on climate compatible development and pursuing gender mainstreaming in urban planning does result in improved climate compatible development outcomes and improved gender relations. And these are possible only through participatory, transdisciplinary and gender-sensitive approaches, as has been shown by a few studies conducted linking these three issues. In fact, climate change is providing an opportunity to be looking at these issues in a more holistic and transdisciplinary manner, which it deserves.

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming, Infrastructure, Urban Planning

Year: 2020

Does Gender Inclusion Really Matter in Sustainable Food Systems?


Edewor, Sarah Edore, and Agatha Osivweneta Ogbe. 2020. "Does Gender Inclusion Really Matter in Sustainable Food Systems?" In Development Sustainable Food Systems, Policies, and Securities, edited by Elijah Obayelu and Oluwakemi Adeola Obayelu, 181-95. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Authors: Sarah Edore Edewor, Agatha Osivweneta Ogbe


Over the past decades, the food systems in developing countries have transformed rapidly. However, the rise in social inequalities has negatively affected, the vulnerable groups as the benefits associated with these transformations are still skewed. This chapter examined the role of gender inclusiveness in promoting sustainable food systems. Employment trends revealed that agricultural employment was higher among males. Five asymmetries (assets, access to agricultural market, access to technology, resilience and risks, and decision making) were identified as limitations to sustainable food systems stemming from the gender differentiated roles. The gender action learning system methodology was adopted using strategies such as empowering men and women through community action learning during catalyst workshops, gender mainstreaming for innovation and institutional change at organizational level, and through advocacy network for policy improvement at the national level. The study concluded that gender inclusion played a crucial role in achieving sustainable food systems. (Summary from original source)

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Gender Roles, Gender Mainstreaming, Security, Food Security

Year: 2020

Built on Shaky Ground: Reflections on Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy


Cadesky, Jessica. 2020. “Built on Shaky Ground: Reflections on Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy.” International Journal: Canada’s Journal of Global Policy Analysis 75 (3): 298–312.

Author: Jessica Cadesky


In October 2017, Canada launched its Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP). While Canada’s explicit use of the words “feminist” and “feminism” may be refreshing, critical questions on the FIAP’s interpretation and application of these concepts remain. These challenges are not unique to the FIAP. Rather, the central weaknesses of the FIAP can be seen as symptomatic of several endemic challenges that persist in the current policies and practices that seek to promote gender equality in the developing world and beyond. This article presents the theoretical and conceptual lineage that has informed the FIAP, drawing from challenges present within literature on security, gender equality, and gender mainstreaming. Three main shortcomings relevant to both the literature and the FIAP are explored: first, the assumptions and essentialization of “gender” to mean “women”; second, the frequent conflation of “gender equality” with “women’s empowerment”; and last, the paradox of gender, gender equality, and feminism being simultaneously overpoliticized and depoliticized to suit prevailing policy environments, with particular implications for the global coronavirus pandemic, as well as impacts in fragile and conflict-affected states. This analysis sheds light on persistent challenges in feminist foreign policymaking and offers insights for the development of Canada’s White Paper on feminist foreign policy.

Keywords: feminist foreign assistance policy, gender equality, women, empowernment, discourse, fragile and conflict-affected states, COVID-19

Topics: Feminisms, Feminist Foreign Policy, Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Security Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2020

Caught between the Orientalist–Occidentalist Polemic: Gender Mainstreaming as Feminist Transformation or Neocolonial Subversion?


Clisby, Suzanne, and Enderstein, Athena-Maria. 2017. "Caught between the Orientalist-Occidentalist Polemic: Gender Mainstreaming as Feminist Transformation or Neocolonial Subversion?" International Feminist Journal of Politics 19 (2): 231-46.

Authors: Suzanne Clisby, Athena-Maria Enderstein


Here we provide a critical reading of gender mainstreaming as a potential emancipatory force that has been co-opted within orientalist-occidentalist polemics. This remains a critical period in the "mainstreaming" debate, where feminist reappropriation is necessary to repoliticize the concept and reorient development sector focus from tokenistic inclusivity to social transformation. We consider two sides of the debate. In the first scenario, the requirement for gender mainstreaming in international development discourse has not only failed to address its original feminist goals, but has become (or remained) an extension of orientalist, neocolonial projects to control and "civilize" developing economies. Here, a putative concern for gender equality in development is used as a means to distinguish between the modern, civilized One and the colonial, traditional Other. In the second scenario, gender mainstreaming is held up as all that these "othered" occidentalist forces stand against; an exemplar of the inappropriate imposition of "western" moralistic paradigms in non-western contexts. Ultimately, the co-optation of gendered discourses in development through these orientalist-occidentalist polemics serves to obfuscate the continued depoliticization of mainstreaming. A critical question remains: can gender mainstreaming ever transcend this discursive impasse and reassert its feminist transformatory potential?

Keywords: co-optation, feminism, gender mainstreaming, occidentalism, orientalism

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Development, Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Gender Mainstreaming

Year: 2017

Explaining Variation in the Implementation of Global Norms: Gender Mainstreaming of Security in the OSCE and the EU


Jenichen, Anne, Jutta Joachim, and Andrea Schneiker. 2019. "Explaining Variation in the Implementation of Global Norms: Gender Mainstreaming of Security in the OSCE and the EU." International Political Science Review 40 (5): 613-26.

Authors: Anne Jenichen, Jutta Joachim, Andrea Schneiker


Why do regional security organizations choose different approaches to implementing global gender norms? To address this question, we examine how the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the European Union (EU) integrated requirements derived from UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) on women, peace and security into their security policies. We identify differences in scope and dynamics between the change processes in the two organizations. The OSCE simply adapted its existing gender policy and has not changed it since, whereas the EU introduced a new, more extensive and specific policy, which it has already amended several times. Drawing on historical institutionalism and feminist institutionalism, we found that, first, reform coalitions prepared the ground for gender mainstreaming in the organizations’ respective security policies; and that, second, embedded policy structures, including rules and norms about external interaction as well as existing policy legacies, were responsible for the different approaches of the EU and OSCE with respect to UNSCR 1325.

Keywords: gender mainstreaming, European Union (EU), feminist historical institutionalism, Organization for Security and Cooperation (OSCE), UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325)

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, International Organizations, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325 Regions: Europe

Year: 2019

Gender Mainstreaming and Water Development Projects: Analyzing Unexpected Enviro-Social Impacts in Bolivia, India, and Lesotho


Cairns, Maryann R., Cassandra L. Workman, and Indrakshi Tandon. 2017. "Gender Mainstreaming and Water Development Projects: Analyzing Unexpected Enviro-Social Impacts in Bolivia, India, and Lesotho." Gender, Place & Culture 24 (3): 325-42.

Authors: Maryann R. Cairns, Cassandra L. Workman, Indrakshi Tandon


Gender mainstreaming policies and programs, meant to be gender-sensitive or to target gender issues, are increasingly implemented by both governmental and non-governmental actors. However, these projects seem set to continually aim solely at women, despite more than a decade of work encouraging broader scope. Using recent case studies from Bolivia, Lesotho, and India, we address the tensions laden in three major questions about water, gender, and development: (1) Is mandatory inclusion of women in water governance and decision-making effective?, (2) Do water development projects provide equal benefits and burdens for women and men?, and (3) In what ways are water projects and their policies impacting and impacted by gendered enviro-social spaces? By providing triangulated data from ethnographic studies in three distinct local contexts, we are able to pinpoint major cross-cutting themes that serve to highlight and interrogate the gendered impacts of water development projects’ policies: public and private lives, women’s labor expectations, and managing participation. We find that gender mainstreaming endeavors continue to fall short in their aim to equitably include women in their programming and that geographic, environmental, and socio-cultural spaces are intimately related to how these equitability issues play out. We provide practical recommendations on how to address these issues.
Las políticas y programas de transversalización de género, diseñadas para ser sensibles al género o con objetivos en temas relacionados con éste, se implementan cada vez más tanto por actores gubernamentales como no gubernamentales. Sin embargo, estos proyectos parecen programados para apuntar únicamente y en forma continua a las mujeres, a pesar de más de una década de trabajo alentando un abordaje más abarcativo. Utilizando estudios de caso recientes de Bolivia, Lesoto e India, analizamos las tensiones generadas en tres cuestiones principales acerca del agua, el género y el desarrollo: 1) ¿Es efectiva la obligatoriedad de la incorporación de las mujeres en la gobernanza y la toma de decisiones sobre el agua?, 2) ¿Los proyectos de desarrollo hídrico brindan los mismos beneficios y cargas a las mujeres que a los hombres?, y 3) ¿De qué maneras los proyectos de agua y sus políticas están impactando en los espacios socioambientales generizados, y de qué manera están siendo impactados por éstos? Ofreciendo datos triangulados de estudios etnográficos en tres contextos locales distintos, pudimos identificar importantes temas transversales que sirven para destacar e interrogar los impactos generizados de las políticas de los proyectos de desarrollo hídrico: las vidas públicas y privadas, las expectativas laborales de las mujeres y la administración de la participación. Encontramos que los esfuerzos en pos de una transversalización del género continúan teniendo sus límites en su intento por incluir de forma equitativa a las mujeres en su programación y que los espacios geográficos, ambientales y socioculturales están íntimamente relacionados con la forma en que se desarrollan estos temas de equidad. Brindamos recomendaciones prácticas sobre cómo abordar estos problemas.

Keywords: women, water supply, equity and inclusion, NGOs, development, Mujeres, provisión de agua, equidad e inclusión, ONG, desarrollo, 女性, 水资源供给, 平等与包容, 非政府组织, 发展

Topics: Development, Environment, Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Governance, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods, NGOs Regions: Africa, Southern Africa, Americas, South America, Asia, South Asia Countries: Bolivia, India, Lesotho

Year: 2017


© 2021 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at

Subscribe to RSS - Gender Mainstreaming