Women and energy access: impact on sustainable development and livelihoods

Articles > Environment & Climate, Employment & Workplace, Resources & Energy

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Eleanor Blomstrom
Eleanor Blomstrom, Program Coordinator, Women's Environment and Development Organisation (WEDO), and Gail Karlsson, Policy Advisor, ENERGIA, The International Network on Gender and Sustainable Energy

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Policies and investments to increase access to improved energy services provide essential support for economic and social development – and women’s empowerment – as well as environmental benefits and climate change mitigation, adaptation and resiliency. Currently, biomass fuels (wood and agricultural wastes) are the main sources of energy for over 2.5 billion people in poor countries. Modern fuels, mechanised power and electricity can provide new opportunities for economic and social development, especially for women, whose traditional roles in Africa and Asia often include gathering biomass fuels from the local environment. This work contributes to crushing time and labour burdens for women, while managing smoky indoor fires causes respiratory diseases and other adverse health impacts.