The Role of Secure Access to Sustainable Energy in Reducing Women’s Vulnerability to Poverty

  • CN Atoma

Abstract

Energy is a basic necessity for survival and a key input to economic and social development. In spite of large scale expansion in energy service provision, more than two billion people across the world lack access to modern energy services. Lack of energy services is correlated with many of the elements of poverty, such as low education levels, inadequate health care and limited employment possibilities. Limited access to energy is a problem that has a disproportionate effect on women, especially in rural areas thereby making them more vulnerable to poverty. Gender issues have come to the forefront in many development sectors including agriculture, forestry and water but the energy sector has been slow to acknowledge the links between gender equality, energy and development. Insufficient access to modern energy and existing patterns of energy use, processing, and collection affect women differently. Because of women’s socially determined gender roles, women and girls assume a higher proportion of the burden of unavailable energy services and inefficient energy use. Thus, greater attention to the need and concerns of women in relation to energy will help governments promote overall development goals like poverty alleviation, employments, health and education through improved energy policies. This paper examined the linkages between women and energy as major users of fuel. It examined the nature of the energy poverty facing women in developing world, including Nigeria. The paper reviewed energy needs of rural women capable of reducing poverty should they gain access to it and concluded by discussing the way forward.

Keyword: Energy, gender, poverty, sustainability, environment
Section
Articles

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eISSN: 1597-913X