This report synthesizes a five-year research program investigating the links between gender, energy, and poverty. The objective was to analyze the benefits of a gender-aware approach in energy access interventions. Nine research teams from 29 research institutions, including 21 in the Global South, conducted research in 12 countries. Using a mixed-methods approach, the researchers examined gender, energy, and poverty linkages in six thematic areas. They sought to explore the potential for adopting a gender-aware approach to energy access that could enhance equity between women and men and empower women through improved access to modern energy services.
Modern energy services and appliances, in the household and in micro- and small-scale enterprises, can change gender roles and dynamics of power. The research examined how these norms can change over time, what causes them to change, and how they vary across different contexts. It identified three levels at which factors influence decision-making and power relations between women and men: the micro level of households; the meso level of local government agencies and women’s organizations; and the macro level of national policymaking.
The authors provide recommendations for energy policy and practice based on a gender-aware approach, understanding that the ways in which gender norms influence needs, access, and control over energy services differ between communities.