Gender Equity and Renewable Energies. Thematic Background Paper for Renewables

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The aim of this paper is to review existing evidence on the role of renewable energies in bringing gender equity. The paper first explores the evolution of thinking on gender and energy, in particular that practitioners no longer specifically focus on women and stoves (often referred to as “household energy”). Next, the reasons why gender analysis can help those people trying to increase the dissemination of renewable energy technologies are presented. There is a brief description of the gender aspects of household energy, and how different renewable energy technologies can contribute to drudgery reduction and time saving, particularly for women. The role of women in renewable energy is analysed. The paper concludes with an analysis of lessons learnt and recommendations. However, the point has to be stressed that there is now only beginning to emerge information about gender and energy in the South, and there is very little information about the situation in the North. The data that are available are primarily in the form of case studies, mainly related to stoves programmes and rural electricity grid extension. The systematic collection of gender-disaggregated statistical data by energy ministries does not occur and it is very rare to find energy project evaluations that use gender analysis. This means that much of the analysis should be seen as only as indicative, although this does not invalidate the recommendations since many of these are linked to the general situation of women having fewer assets than men.

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