Cultural and Economic Barriers in Switching to Clean Cooking Energy: Does Women's Agency Make a Difference?

Govind Kelkar, Dev Nathan
2021 Energies  
The major objective of this study is to identify and analyze cultural and economic barriers to sustained adoption of LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) as the primary clean cooking energy in India, and examining underpinning values and norms in socio-technical energy system of the country. In 2016, the Government of India introduced a mega scheme called Ujjwala for clean cooking energy with LPG connects in women's name. This policy, however, experienced limited implementation, but did lead to
more » ... ng women's agency in many areas. Women's agency is defined briefly as their ability to set goals, develop capacities, and act on their defined goals to realize desired outcomes in wellbeing and capabilities. In the case of switching to clean cooking energy, the question can be posed as: as women are the ones who carry out most of the onerous work of collecting and cooking with wood, are they able to make decisions on the adoption of clean cooking fuel, that enhance their agency and the wellbeing of their families? Male-centred cultural and economic norms can be changed by the exercise of women's agency, when (1) women have unmediated asset ownership rights to land, houses, and energy technology; (2) they are organized in groups for earning cash incomes and energy access; (3) they have acquired new knowledge, skills, and finances to acquire and operate new technologies; and (4) women have experienced the effects of policy change addressing gendered norms.
doi:10.3390/en14217242 fatcat:oqoef7yq2nbnzbzg5s5sxe4u34