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International Webinar: What does women's empowerment mean in the quest for universal electricity access?

September 26, 2017, 04:30 PM IST/11:00 GMT

A webinar was organised by the international research project EFEWEE, under ENERGIA's Gender and Energy Research Programme, supported by DFID, facilitated by The Energy Research Institute (TERI), New Delhi on 26th September, 2017.

The aim of this webinar was to discuss how a more coherent understanding of women's empowerment in the realm of electricity could help governments, donors, NGOs and local communities achieve multiple goals through increased provision of electricity access (through grid, off-grid and stand-alone systems).

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Programme Inception Meeting LCEDN-ENERGIA Cooperation Project

May 15-16, 2017, Loughborough University, United Kingdom

The Low Carbon Energy Development Network(LCEDN) and ENERGIA organised a workshop for international researchers, policy makers and practitioners working on gender and energy during 15th and 16th May 2014 at Loughborough University, the UK. Dr. Mini Govindan, Fellow at TERI represented the EFEWEE team and presented the concept for creating a 'Community of Practice (CoP)' in the gender and energy sector, which can serve as a platform or integrator of knowledge for learning and sharing among the gender and energy community and further acts as a collective voice for gender inclusion in the energy sector.

Dr Govindan also participated in the session which discussed on the challenges related to 'Data and Indicators' and highlighted some of the indicators used in the EFEWEE study to measure empowerment in the context of gender and energy.

Deep Dive Workshop on SEforALL Global Tracking Framework: Asia-Pacific Results & Energy Access/Gender Metrics

June 6, 2017, Asian Development Bank, Manila

In the recently held Asia Clean Energy Forum 2017, Mr Debajit Palit, Associate Director & Senior Fellow at TERI, represented EFEWEE and presented the project's initial findings at the Deep Dive Workshop on SEforALL Global Tracking Framework (GTF): Asia-Pacific Results & Energy Access/Gender Metrics, held on 6 June 2017. In his presentation, he showed how energy can contribute to empowerment, and how such causalities can be assessed. He stressed on the importance of gender-inclusive energy policies and need for more conceptual work and gender disaggregated data for accumulating knowledge on energy and women's empowerment.

The Deep Dive Workshop was organised by the Asian Development Bank in association with ENERGIA, SEforAll and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific during the Asia Clean Energy Forum 2017. The 2017 edition of the GTF and the progress of universal access to energy in the Asia-Pacific region was presented at the workshop, which was followed by presentations on the ENERGIA Gender and Energy Research Programme. The second half of the session provided opportunity for representatives of selected Asia-Pacific governments to share their views and opinions on how the findings of the GTF and the research conducted under the ENERGIA programme relates to their own respective national/sub-national energy access planning approaches, and how the energy access data aligns with, or may be useful for, country-level access related initiatives.

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Special Event 'Strengthening the empirical evidence: Gender inclusive energy policies enabling progress towards the SDG

May 9, 2017, Vienna International Centre, Austria

The research project EFEWEE (2015-18) was presented and discussed during the Special Event 'Strengthening the empirical evidence: Gender inclusive energy policies enabling progress towards the SDGs', held at the Vienna International Centre, Austria, on 9th May 2017.

Mr Debajit Palit, Associate Director & Senior Fellow at TERI, represented EFEWEE and presented the project's initial findings. He noted that electrification and energy access interventions do not alone lead to women's empowerment. While there is no doubt that electricity enhances women's wellbeing and social life, there is need for robust evidence on how electricity access may empower women and their decision-making powers. Through the team's review of electricity polices and initial field work, it is clear that electricity policies are often gender-blind and that the wider legislation on land rights, inheritance and social rules also affect women's empowerment. Energy ministries do not collect gender-disaggregated data which would have helped understanding the different needs of women and men and supported the design of efficient and inclusive policies. He suggested that the Sustainable Energy for All initiative should, to the extent possible, make efforts to collect gender-disaggregated data during their Global Tracking Framework surveys, as this would help the important endeavor of developing affirmative policies and actions for better and more gender equitable outcomes.

The special event was organised by ENERGIA in cooperation with UNIDO during the Vienna Energy Forum 2017. The event brought together a large number of researchers, policy makers and practitioners to reflect on the empirical evidence on energy interventions. The aim of this event was to identify key gaps within the existing research and pinpoint areas that need to be addressed to ensure more gender equitable outcomes of energy interventions. Click here for more details.

ENERGIA Gender and Energy Programme Annual Meeting

December 13-17, 2016, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi

TERI hosted the annual programme meeting of the ENERGIA Gender and Energy Programme Framework, a five-year on-going sub programme on 'Gender and Sustainable Energy for All' supported by DFID, UK, from December 13 to 17, 2016.

The meeting was attended by more than 20 researchers from five research areas under the ENERGIA Gender and Energy Research Programme, as well as by members from ENERGIA, DFID and SE4ALL, representing nearly 20 research institutes and universities from 12 countries. The main objective of the programme meeting was to share and reflect on the learnings and approaches of each research area, lessons learned on gender approaches, strengthen policy influencing impacts and enhance the gender and energy research community. The week-long meeting provided an opportunity to the participating researchers, the ENERGIA team and the Technical Advisory Group advising the research programme, to discuss and deliberate on the findings and lessons of all research areas covered in the last 2 years. It also enabled a discussion on how synergies could be developed among the research teams to undertake collaborative research.

The programme meeting also included a field visit to the village, Berka Alimuddin, in the Nuh District of Haryana to enable participants gather a sense of the research being conducted by TERI and University of Oslo as part of the Programme. The field trip was also an opportunity for the group to reflect on the merits and limitations of different interview techniques and on how impact of the interventions may be measured.

International Workshop on Gender and Energy: State of the Art and Policy implications for Women's Empowerment

December 12, 2016, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi

The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Centre for Development and the Environment at the University of Oslo (Norway), Dunamai Energy (Malawi) and Seacrester Consulting (Kenya) organised an International Workshop on Gender and Energy on December 12, 2016 at New Delhi. The objective of the workshop was to present the state-of-the-art in the realm of gender, energy and women's empowerment and discuss the role of policy and need for new research.

The workshop aimed to create a multi-discipline platform where a number of leading researchers and policy makers, from the South and the North, shared their experiences and understanding about which contexts and policies actually work towards empowerment through energy, practical experiences from the field on empowerment through energy and the social evolutions for gender effective energy transitions.

The workshop was attended by over 70 delegates, key energy and gender experts, practitioners, researchers and academicians from 15 countries including Norway, the Netherlands, UK, USA, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Nepal, Bangladesh, and India. Dr Ajay Mathur; Dr Sheila Oparaocha, International Coordinator and Programme Manager of ENERGIA; Ms Nishtha Satyam, Head, Strategic Partnerships, Policy Impact and Public Relations, UN Women; and Ms Jyoti Arora, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Power, Govt. of India shared their thoughts at the inaugural ceremony during the workshop.

The inaugural session was followed by 3 technical sessions, where the speakers and audience deliberated on contexts and policies that have worked in empowering women, shared field experiences from energy projects implemented with a gendered approach and also discussed how the energy sector can enhance gender equality to complement social transitions.

Background Note   ||   Agenda   ||   Workshop Proceedings   ||   Presentation - Research Area 1   ||   Presentation - Energia


Some Key Messages from the Workshop


The role of women in developing and implementing energy access programs is crucial. Hence it is important to address gender in energy.

- Dr Ajay Mathur, Director General, TERI, India


SDG7 on energy recognised as an enabler for SDG5 on gender equality and women empowerment, perhaps why we discuss gender approaches in scaling up energy access.

- Sheila Oparaocha, International Coordinator & Programme Manager, ENERGIA IS, Netherlands


Today in India women spend 5 hours a day collecting fuel for cooking. There is a need for paradigm shift to promote women as key agents of change not just beneficiaries.

- Nishtha Satyam, Head, Strategic Partnerships, Policy Impact and Public Relations, UN Women, India


The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana proposes that in the next 3 years, 50 million women will be given LPG connections. Out of this 1.2 crore women have already been given this access.

- Jyoti Arora, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Power, Government of India


International initiatives and national policies for electrification are often gender blind in terms of anticipated benefits. The voice of women is not reaching policy makers because there is a lack of pressure from the grassroots level.

- Debajit Palit, Associate Director, Social Transformation Division, TERI, India


For energy policy we also need to look into the future not just the past. Research on the influence of policy implementation is important.

- Annemarije Kooijman-van Dijk, Programme Coordinator, Gender and Energy Research, ENERGIA IS, Netherlands


Although the importance is understood by energy practitioners, the empirical evidence is limited and there are limited policy studies that highlight the impact on women due to electricity access.

- Elizabeth Cecelski, Rural Development, Energy Access & Gender Specialist, USA


There are misperceptions about women in technical fields. OECD countries are doing a poor job in convincing women that technical jobs are socially beneficial.

- Dr Bipasha Baruah, Associate Professor, Women's Studies and Feminist Research, University of Western Ontario, Canada


I emphasize that if there is no improvement in economic empowerment of women then there will be no change in gender relations.

- Dr Dev Nathan, Professor, Institute for Human Development, India


Launching how we define and analyse empowerment - Symposium on Engendering the Energy Transition

November 23-24, 2016, The University of Twente, the Netherlands

EFEWEE was presented and discussed during the Symposium: 'Engendering the Energy Transition', held at the University of Twente, the Netherlands during 23-24th November.

In her presentation 'Gender, transport and health', EFEWEE team member Dr. Margaret Matinga shared her thoughts based on research and consultancy work from many contexts. She observed that there are many paradoxes and forgotten areas in policy and research on energy and transport, such as the effects of carrying heavy fuelwood, which in large parts of the world is primarily carried out by women and with detrimental effects on their health and time use. She argued that solid fuels supply and distribution channels merit research and should be regarded as infrastructures of energy transmission and distribution in themselves, in line with other forms of energy such as electricity. Dr Matinga also questioned the discursive practices that have permeated research, policy and practice, how they reduce empowerment to a discussion of turning (all) women into entrepreneurs without questioning the structures that limit women and men in developing countries, many of which they do not participate in or have a voice in. The presentation called for a radical change in research on energy and gender to not just fit into mainstreaming discourses but to question them and suggest better alternatives.

Dr Tanja Winther presented EFEWEE's framework for analysing women's empowerment through electrification, which seeks to address welfare aspects and notions of economic and political empowerment. To capture EFEWEE's emphasis on people's own perceptions of empowerment and other issues in addition to developing a framework for comparison, her presentation was entitled 'Women's empowerment in energy projects: What is the meaning?'. Participants expressed acknowledgement for the comprehensive framework, but it was also asked how the team intends to treat the issue of "rights". Winther emphasised that the team does not employ a human rights approach as such, but looks at the extent to which formal rights, in line with cultural practices and social norms, provide equal opportunities for women and men - and to what extent electrification affects such rights. Another participant encouraged the team to use comparative case study analysis when embarking on the analysis of the empirical material from India, Kenya and Nepal.

The symposium was organised by the University of Twente's Department of Governance and Technology for Sustainability (CSTM) in partnership with the European Association of Development and Training Institutes (EADI) and the Africa Studies Centre (Leiden University). The Symposium sought to create a multi-disciplinary platform where a number of leading researchers, from the South and the North, shared experiences and understandings about the way gender shapes and is shaped by their context.

The Symposium was led by Professor Joy Clancy and was followed by her inaugural lecture as Chair of Energy and Gender, University of Twente. The EFEWEE team sends our congratulations to Professor Clancy.

Research Programme's Scoping phase meeting in Cape Town, South Africa

November 2015

Dr Tanja Winther, Mr Debajit Palit and Dr Magi Matinga participated in the Research Programme's scoping phase meeting in Cape Town, held during 15-20 November, 2015. The meeting was attended by researchers from all five research areas under the Energia Gender & Energy Research Programme as well as members from Technical Advisory Group, Energia and DFID. The week long meeting provided an wonderful opportunity to all researchers, Energia staff and TAG members to discuss and deliberate on the findings and lessons learnt from the scoping phase of the programme and how synergies can be developed among various research areas during the implementation phase of the programme.

Research Programme's inception meeting in Geneve, Switzerland

February 2015

Dr Tanja Winther (Project Leader) participated in the Research Programme's inception meeting in Geneve, Switzerland. This turned out to be a good opportunity to meet researchers involved in the programme's four other research areas, in order to find synergies and discuss central notions such as empowerment and theories of change. ENERGIA staff, members of the programme's Technical Advisory Groups and ESMAP representatives also contributed to the discussions in important ways. Winther elaborates: "There is a lot of experience within this programme, particularly on advocacy and policy work, which we can draw on as researchers. I also learned that there are high expectations to our project, which admittedly is very ambitious in that we will be looking at a range of factors on various levels that may affect the gendered impacts of electrification. But EFEWEE has a highly competent team with complementary backgrounds, and I look very much forward to getting started".

Social Transformation DivisionThe Energy and Resources Institute
India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road New Delhi- 110003, India
Email: debajitp@teri.res.in

Copyright©2015 TERI

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