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Women, Energy, and Economic Empowerment: Applying a Gender Lens to Amplify the Impact of Energy Access

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Kathleen O’Dell, Sophia Peters, Kate Wharton
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This online article explores the relationship between two narratives about economic growth: first, that gender inequalities are closely linked to poverty and instability, and second, that access to modern energy enables economic advancement. The authors ask under what context does gender equality rise with access to electricity; what are the channels through which this change occurs; and how significant are the economic benefits to women? They also ask, can donor institutions and governments reap more meaningful results by targeting energy development programs that enhance benefits for women, and if so, how? They conclude that energy access programs are an underexplored lever for women’s economic empowerment.