ENERGIA’s Gender and Energy Research programme explores the linkages between gender, energy and poverty through empirical research, with the objective to translate this evidence into recommendations for energy policy and practice.
Energy is central to tackling almost every major global challenge, and access to energy (SDG 7) is widely considered to be a key enabler for reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For this to happen however, it is critical to improve energy interventions so that they better meet the demands of women and make better use of their capacities. Energy access can then also contribute immensely to reaching SDG 5, which aims to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”, as it enables improved livelihoods. ENERGIA firmly believes that by addressing SDG 5 and SDG 7 jointly, multiple development outcomes can be achieved.
Results so far
The programme coordinated research conducted by nine consortia that included research institutions, NGOs and private companies, in 12 countries across Asia and Africa. The final reports from each research project are now available, as is the synthesis report which presents overall findings and policy implications.
- Research project 1 puts a spotlight on the factors that contribute to the empowerment of women through different forms of electricity supply.
Read more: Exploring factors that enhance and restrict women’s empowerment through electrification
- Research project 2 offers insights into energy use in the street food sector and how energy contributes to the economic and social aspirations of the men and women operating in this sector.
Read more: Productive uses of energy in the street food sector
- Research project 3 explores the role that gender plays in the political economy analysis of access and use of modern energy services, primarily in clean cooking and agriculture.
Read more: Gender factor in political economy of energy sector dynamics
- Research project 4 looks at the impact of kerosene and LPG subsidies (and their reform) from a gender perspective, and considers factors that need be taken into consideration to ensure that subsidies reach poor women.
Read more: Gender and Fossil Fuels Subsidy Reform
- Research project 5 presents new insights that involving women as entrepreneurs in the renewable energy sector can positively impact businesses and provide positive welfare impacts on their households.
Read more: Female microenterprise creation and business models for private sector distribution of low-cost off-grid LED lighting
- Research project 6 presents new evidence that shows that interventions promoting productive use of electricity (PUE) without gender approaches are more likely to benefit male-run than women-run enterprises, and provides recommendations to ensure equal benefits for women and men.
Read more: Unlocking the benefits of productive uses of energy
- Research project 7 is a literature study showing that energy entrepreneurship can transform women’s lives and captures key lessons learned on including women in energy supply as entrepreneurs to increase access to energy for all.
Read more: Building the Evidence Base for Women’s Empowerment and Entrepreneurship to Improve Energy Interventions’ Effectiveness
Key findings from synthesis report are:
- Universal energy access targets are unlikely to be met unless energy policies are aligned to women’s as well as men’s energy needs, their assets, skills, limitations and capabilities, and existing gender norms;
- Involvement of women in energy system supply chains is good for women and their families, and it is good for business;
- Modern energy services for women’s productive uses contribute to women’s empowerment;
- End-use appliances that deliver modern energy services to reduce drudgery and save time can transform gender roles and relations;
- Improving the affordability, reliability, capacity and convenience of modern energy services can help achieve gender-equitable outcomes, and will be critical for universal energy access;
- Engaging with political processes can help women access modern energy services and change gender norms.
Research Project 1: India, Kenya, Nepal; Research Project 2: Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa; Research Project 3: India, Nepal; Research Project 4: Bangladesh, India, Nigeria; Research Project 5: Rwanda; Research Project 6: Ghana, Myanmar, Tanzania; Research Project 7: Worldwide
Period and donor
This five-year research programme on gender and energy (2014-2020) was supported by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) as part of its Sustainable Energy, Access and Gender (SEAG) programme
The ENERGIA Gender and Energy Research Programme is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID)
Read more about Research Programme
Gender and Energy: Opportunities for All Miscellaneous
Ashden, Energia, DFID 2015.