Gender issues: Energy access can be transformed from an obstacle to an opportunity for women’s empowerment through the integration of women into the energy supply chain, as well as supportive policies. Organizations in India are working to expand energy access and empower women by boosting incomes, expanding skills and strengthening self-confidence. Over time, these efforts will enable a woman to have greater influence over herself, her family, and her community.
Even when policies are designed to empower women, legal and social norms end up reducing their impact. Govind Kelkar, senior advisor at Landesa and senior technical advisor at ENERGIA, an international NGO focused on gender and energy, told pv magazine about a national subsidy in India allowing women farmers access to discounted agricultural equipment. The catch was that to receive the subsidy, the women would need to be a “farmer”, which in government terminology meant a landholder.