RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2018

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369 Geographies of Gender and Energy: Exploring Spaces of Intersection (2) - Poverty and vulnerability
Affiliation Energy Geographies Research Group
Convenor(s) Harriet Larrington-Spencer (The University of Manchester, UK)
Caitlin Robinson (The University of Manchester, UK)
Neil Simcock (The University of Manchester, UK)
Chair(s) Neil Simcock (The University of Manchester, UK)
Timetable Friday 31 August 2018, Session 4 (16:50 - 18:30)
Room Glamorgan Building - Lecture Theatre -1.64
Session abstract Energy geographies is a burgeoning research agenda in both the Global North and Global South, whilst gender inequalities remain some of the most pertinent of our time. However, the intersections between energy geographies and gender and feminist geographies have been hitherto underexplored. For example, although the potential for energy transitions to produce new inequalities has been noted, an explicitly gendered perspective has been rare. Similarly, there is relatively little work on the gender dimensions of energy poverty and vulnerability, particularly in Europe and other areas of the ‘Global North’. This session opens up a more explicit dialogue on the links between the geographies of gender and energy. It explores how gender is intertwined with a range of energy landscapes, from the energy sector and related policy-making, to wider provisioning infrastructures, down to the domestic sphere and the everyday lived experiences of energy consumption.
Linked Sessions Geographies of Gender and Energy: Exploring Spaces of Intersection (1) - Gender dimensions of energy transitions
Contact the conference organisers to request a change to session or paper details: ac2018@rgs.org
Energy policy behind the front door: gender perspective on access to energy in the EU
Mariëlle Feenstra (University of Twente, The Netherlands)
Joy Clancy (University of Twente, The Netherlands)
Energy poverty in Europe is reflected in the more than 54 million people who have difficulty paying their energy bills or have limited access to high quality energy because of low incomes. Due to their lower average income, women are at a greater risk of energy poverty than man. This paper gains insights into energy poverty as experienced by women and men, mediated by social characteristics, within the European Union. The research indicates which energy poverty indicators are applicable within the context of the EU for ensuring gender aware approaches to addressing energy poverty.

In December 2016, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on access to energy. The EP called for the EU to include a gender dimension in all its energy policies focusing on women with particular needs. This paper presents the research funded by the European Parliament to review through a gender lens existing EU legislation and policy related to addressing energy poverty. The methodology used is a mix of literature review, desk review of policy documents (both on EU and national level) combined with mapping and a case study approach of energy poverty and gendered access to energy in seven EU member states: Bulgari, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK. The findings are combined with the insights from interviews with key informants and illustrated by a survey of Member State authorities and civil society organisations.
Intersecting gender, energy and ethno-cultural identities in the Brazilian Amazon
Antonella Mazzone (King’s College London, UK)
Sustainable energy access is promoted as the catalyst for positive social changes in rural Global South, including gender equality. However, at empirical level, the gender-energy literature offers a mosaic of dissimilar and often contradictory gendered implications of energy access across rural geographies.

This paper aims to contribute to a new avenue of research on gender, energy and intersectionality analysing to what extent decentralised renewable and non-renewable energy systems changed daily lives of four rural, isolated communities in the Brazilian Amazon. Primary qualitative data collected in 2015 in four isolated communities of the state of Amazonas are assessed to analyse how energy access has different impacts not only between the communities but also within each village. The analysis of the ethno-cultural composition of each (and within) Amazonian group can explain why energy access positively challenged unbalanced gender relations in some cases, while it worsened others.

Preliminary results suggest that the heterogeneity of ethno-cultural identities among and within each group (with distinct gendered space, livelihood strategies, and long-established social ideologies) should not be ignored in energy development planning. This papers advances bottom-up approaches incorporating the intersections between energy and cultural heterogeneity, long-established gender ideologies, of each, and within, energy beneficiary groups.
Women’s energy poverty, vulnerabilities and precarity in the everyday: experiences in peri-urban Nigeria.
Fatima Adamu (Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Nigeria)
Plangsat Bitrus Dayil (University of Jos, Nigeria)
Gina Porter (Durham University, UK)
This paper reflects on findings from a small study of gendered patterns of energy access and use conducted in two informal peri-urban settlements of Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. One settlement comprises a very mixed population, with both Gwari indigenes (who have suffered marginalisation following expansion of the city boundaries into their traditional area) and migrants from across the country. The second site is an IDP camp inhabited by people who have had to flee boko haram incursions in north-east Nigeria. Within the two sites we have encountered some of the poorest and most disadvantaged women and girls in Nigeria. Drawing on in-depth qualitative research, our paper explores the gendered mediations of social connections, obligations and trust relations that are central to women’s current energy relations, including with reference to ethnicity and age. Continued heavy dependence on biomass - charcoal and firewood –lies at the centre of the provisioning networks and pathways which entangle, constrain and deepen their marginalisation: wide-ranging impacts extend from health to education and livelihood opportunities.
Gender and household energy: female participation in designing domestic energy in India's slum rehabilitation housing
Anika N. Haque (University of Cambridge, UK)
M. Sunikka-Blank (University of Cambridge, UK)
Charlotte Lemanski (University of Cambridge, UK)
Ronita Bardhan (Indian Institute of Technology, India)
R. Choudhary (University of Cambridge, UK)
J. Phrabhu (University of Cambridge, UK)
It has been estimated that 40% of Indian households in cities like Mumbai live in slums. In 1995 the Indian government started a slum housing redevelopment scheme. In Mumbai, the current model is led by property developers and there are no minimum standards on the quality of the rehabilitation housing, exposing a risk they will become 'vertical slums'. Even if the causes and consequences of gender inequality lie elsewhere in society, it is imperative that the role of housing in perpetuating such inequalities must be considered. In dysfunctional design women and children risk spending most of their time indoors unaware of the ill-effects of poor ventilation that can lead to respiratory diseases. Our previous work shows that if cultural norms are not understood, windows meant for natural ventilation are kept closed due to privacy, causing indoor air pollution. This demonstrates the dis-juncture between stakeholders involved in designing housing and domestic energy, and those living in these settlements. This research seeks to redress that dis-juncture by exploring the needs of the end-users. Drawing from the interdisciplinary expertise of engineering and social sciences, the project aims to understand 1) quantitative energy use and household air pollution in rehabilitation housing units in Dharavi, Mumbai, and 2) their female occupants’ comfort, cooking and child rearing practices, needs and aspirations. It investigates knowledge exchange between policy makers, designers and female occupants focused on strategies to increase women's participation in the design process. This is a British Academy Knowledge Frontiers project and collaboration between the Departments of Architecture, Geography, Engineering and Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge and the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai.
Discussant
Saska Petrova (The University of Manchester, UK)
Discussant