Approximately 2.7 billion people (almost 2 billion in the Asia-Pacific region)—40 percent of the world’s population—depend on wood, charcoal or animal waste for basic energy needs such as cooking and heating. Because poor and marginalized people tend to rely on locally sourced biomass for their daily energy needs, any stress on their surrounding ecosystems, climatic or otherwise, is likely to render them increasingly vulnerable to biomass—and hence energy—scarcities. Such scarcities take a significant toll on poor women, especially rural women.
Rural women and girls are the primary energy producers for the household. Further, they tend to depend on small-scale agriculture and locally available resources to support their
livelihoods and to fulfil their household obligations. Energy poverty leads to drudgery, greater health risks and a lack of time to focus on income-generating, educational or other selfnurturing (e.g. leisure) activities.
This policy brief by UNDP Asia and the Global Gender and Climate Alliance explores the linkages between gender and energy in the Asia Pacific region.