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Resources, Energy, and Development
Year : 2004, Volume : 1, Issue : 1 and 2
First page : ( 19) Last page : ( 41)
Print ISSN : 0973-0516.

Rural energy planning and policies in Nepal: gender perspectives

Mahat Ishara

Mahat Niwas, Jwagol, Kupondole, Lalitpur, Nepal ishara_m@hotmail.com

Abstract

Women in rural Nepal are heavily involved in managing household energy systems. They spend a large proportion of their time and energy in collecting firewood and processing food grain. For instance, a woman in Nepal s rural mountainous area spends four to six hours in collecting a bundle firewood. Being the primary users and managers of household energy, women are very careful in ensuring efficient energy use. Indeed, they possess indigenous knowledge and skills in energy production and management.

Despite this reality, Nepal's planners and policy-makers -who are usually male - rarely consider rural energy problems from the perspective of women. Rural energy interventions are planned and designed with the aim of saving fuel rather than that of reducing human drudgery or opening up new development opportunities for women and men.

This paper analyses the issues and challenges facing Nepal's rural energy sector and makes some policy recommendations with a focus on gender-based plans and policies. A gender-sensitive planning framework indicating long-term goals, medium-term objectives, and relevant indicators has been designed to provide planners with a basis to integrate gender into rural energy planning and policies.

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