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

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

26 September 2017 [Tuesday] 4:30 p.m. IST/ 11:00 GMT Claim Your Spot Now!

A webinar organised by the international research project EFEWEE*, under ENERGIA's Gender and Energy Research Programme, supported by DFID and facilitated by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi

How has 'empowerment' been conceptualized in studies of electricity's gendered impacts? Why has there been a divide between established notions of empowerment (i.e. women's political, social and economic empowerment) on the one hand and, on the other, gender goals in energy interventions and adhering research, which tend to focus on electricity's impact on welfare indicators?

The aim of this webinar is 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).

For example, how could a refined understanding of empowerment help tap the potential for producing more gender equality through electricity interventions? How could the proposed concept of empowerment (and adhering measures within policy, programs and projects) enhance the systems for the provision and maintenance of access? Which bottlenecks (gender equality/equity and more reliable access) can be overcome through electricity interventions alone and which depend on policies and practices in other sectors?

The EFEWEE team will first present some key findings from a scoping study on women's empowerment through electricity access. Here they propose a framework for analysis that seeks to bridge various perspectives, arrive at clear definitions of empowerment and its dimensions - and thus help accumulate knowledge in this field. The framework builds on Naila Kabeers' work for measuring empowerment and also draws on practice theory and socio-technical system theory. Click here to access a recent article presenting the EFEWEE framework.

To illustrate the application of the framework and to respond to the key questions asked for this event, the team then presents some key observations from their recent qualitative work in Nepal, India and Kenya. We then invite two discussants to comment on these presentations. Participants are invited to provide comments and questions in writing during the webinar, of which some will be commented by the presenters. We end by inviting the four speakers to give their short final reflections.

  • Moderator

    Mr Debajit Palit

    He is an Associate Director and Senior Fellow at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), India and responsible for the Rural Energy and Livelihoods Division in TERI. He has around 18 years of experience working in the energy access domain and is co-leading the project, EFEWEE.

  • Speakers

    Dr Tanja Winther

    She is a social anthropologist and power engineer at the Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo, Norway. Dr Winther has a long experience of doing research on the social impact of electrification and gender issues in particular. She is the Project Leader of EFEWEE.

    Dr Magi Matinga

    She is an Energy Anthropologist (PhD) at Dunamai Energy in Malawi and has written an ethnographic PhD thesis at Twente University on women, electricity, and health in South Africa, focusing on how women's experiences affect their perceptions of danger and uses of electricity. She is leading the work package on literature review in the EFEWEE project and is contributing to the empirical research in Nepal.

  • Discussant

    Dr Helene Ahlborg

    She is a researcher of environmental systems analysis at Chalmers Technical College, Sweden. Her research is about rural electrification in East Africa and societal transformation. She studies the co-development of technology and society and how provision of electricity services, based on small-scale renewable energy resources, impacts on people's lives and transforms rural communities.

Preliminary Programme

Opening of webinar: 16.30 IST/12.00 CET/11 GMT

16.30 - 16.40 Welcome and practical info by Moderator Debajit Palit, EFEWEE/TERI
16.40 - 16.55 Proposal of a framework: benefits and methodological challenges, Tanja Winther
16.55 - 17.10 Illustrating the framework's applications: Glimpses from the field, Magi Matinga
17.10 - 17.20 Comments by discussant Helene Ahlborg, Chalmers Technical College, Sweden.
17.20 - 17.30 Comments by discussant TBD
17.30 - 17.45 Responses to questions and comments from participants
17.45 - 17.55 Concluding reflections by presenters and discussants
17.55 - 18.00 Closing remarks, Debajit Palit


Mr Debajit Palit

Associate Director and Senior Fellow,

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Supported By

*For more details of the EFEWEE project, please visit www.efewee.org

*Get your questions answered in an exclusive 15 minutes Q&A.