Discussion Paper : Mainstreaming Gender in Improved Cookstove Value Chains
Lack of convenient, reliable, and affordable access to clean cookstoves risks the lives and livelihoods of millions of women in rural India. In the patriarchal rural society, cooking and collection of fuel are tasks typically performed by women (Dutta 2003). Household air pollution, primarily from inefficient cookstoves, leads to 1.04 million premature deaths in India annually (Balakrishnan, Cohen and Smith 2014), disproportionately affecting women and young children. Women spend a considerable amount of time, effort, and money collecting fuel wood (Sehjpal et al. 2014), which can otherwise be spent gainfully on productive activities. Improved cookstoves (ICS) can serve as a practical, affordable, and culturally acceptable solution to the problems described above. Globally, there is a growing focus on popularizing and disseminating ICS through market-led approaches.