Gender and Energy Sector Reform
Gender equality is a catalyst for sustainable development, and sustainable development can promote gender equality. We are beginning to understand that insensitivity to gender differences in energy policies and programmes reinforces social and economic inequalities, compounds fiscal difficulties and tends to place a greater burden on certain groups than on others. Therefore, evaluating and documenting the extent to which women participate in and benefit from energy sector reforms is key to understanding the links between gaps in gender equality and a lack of energy access.
Victoria Ohaeri, Executive Director, Spaces for Change, Nigeria
Globally, governments spend around USD 600 billion every year subsidising fossil fuels to consumers. For some countries, this can equate to around one-third of the government’s total spending. Even with such significant government subsidies on fossil fuels and to the energy sector, levels of access to sustainable energy can remain low. Often subsidies within the energy sector are poorly targeted, benefiting richer sections of the population through cheaper petrol and diesel transport fuels, rather than being aimed at the energy needs of the poor.
This research focuses on the impacts of fossil-fuel subsidy reform on poor women in Bangladesh, India and Nigeria. There is a large volume of literature related to energy access and gender. The scoping report draws on this literature by first providing a global picture of energy subsidies, energy access and gender empowerment as background for the research. It also provides an overview of energy subsidies and reforms, and their implications, in the three focus countries.
There is strong evidence that, in many countries, a significant proportion of the subsidies are captured by well-off households, suggesting a general phenomenon of energy subsidy inefficiency. We hope that the results of our research will enable governments to better understand and make informed choices regarding energy sector reform policy, and its implementation, and thereby improve development outcomes for women.
- Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI) of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) – Bangladesh
Spaces for Change – NigeriaFor more information contact Laura Merrill at IISD firstname.lastname@example.org
Gender and Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform: Current Status of Research
Peter Wooders, Laura Merrill, Christopher Beaton, Kieran Clarke, Lucy Kitson Shruti Sharma
Gender and fossil fuels subsidy reforms
Paper Making subsidy reform work for women in Nigeria
Policy brief How women can benefit from fuel subsidy reform
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Why Buhari should make subsidy reform work for women
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