The Energy-Gender Nexus: A Case Study among Urban and Peri-urban Female Headed Households in Arba-Minch Town, Southern Ethiopia

  • Ahmed Mustefa
  • Tebarek Lika
Keywords: Gender, energy poverty, fuel stacking, Arba-Minch, Southern Ethiopia


The study was conducted in Southern Ethiopia with the objective of investigating
the linkages between energy and gender among urban female-headed households
(FHHs) residing both in and surrounding parts of Arba-Minch Town. The research
design is mainly based on the quantitative methods and complemented with the
qualitative ones. 272 sample FHHs were selected based on random sampling
technique and data were collected using questionnaires, focus group discussions
and key informant interviews. To determine the relationship and identify factors
explaining households’ cooking fuels consumption, correlation and linear
regression models were used. Data on the consumption of energy sources were
gathered in terms of expenditures which were later converted to energy heat values
measured in terms of Mega Joule. Results of the study reveal that regardless of
their economic status, the majority of FHHs depended on wood fuels as their
primary source of cooking energy. In the study area, commercial cooking fuels
have become increasingly scarce and expensive, and the costs of modern cooking
appliances are beyond the purchasing ability of most of FHHs. It is becoming
increasingly difficult for FHHs to obtain affordable energy technologies that
convert energy to useful services. A significant portion of FHHs continue to suffer
as their incomes have not kept pace with the rising prices. Increasing end-use
efficiency should be given greater emphasis as an important prerequisite by
employing proper end-use technologies to change FHHs’ cooking practices so that
household energy-related problems be tackled and energy can lead to more
gender- equitable sustainable livelihoods.

Keywords: Gender, energy poverty, fuel stacking, Arba-Minch, Southern Ethiopia


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2520-582X
print ISSN: 1810-4487