The political economy of energy sector dynamics
Gender equality is vital for energy security at the home level. Usually it is women who are in charge of energy management both at home and on the farm. Therefore factoring gender into the analysis of political economy in relation to energy is vital for developing a sustainable energy security system for the family.
Prof. M.S. Swaminathan
The central research question in the proposed research was: How can rural women be empowered to gain access to modern energy services? The research team focuses on two specific areas of political economy: influencing by pressure groups representing women; and valuing women’s time. Although the focus is on cooking fuels, the scoping phase report also presents a broader overview of political processes and institutions since understanding success factors in a gendered energy policy is very relevant.
This study is situated in India and Nepal. Initially, the research team is investigating the macro-level, where the formulation of energy policies and programmes by central and state governments take place. Second, the scope will be at the meso-level, where energy policies are implemented and administered, often by networks of the state, and community and social norms play a role. Finally, the researchers will look at the micro-level, where energy services are delivered and used in the home. These three levels need to be viewed in terms of their interaction with energy policy and practice.
The role of women’s agency through organisations of groups of women is also very important. Throughout the research period, efforts will be made to encourage government agencies, development partners and the private sector to recognise the potential of rural women and to give them a voice in policymaking and project design.
- M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation