Making energy justice work for women in rural sub-Saharan Africa: A qualitative diagnostic from Benin, Senegal, and Togo

A carbon neutral world by 2050. Few would oppose the idea of embedding justice in the energy systems painted in the emerging net zero scenario. However, how does the lofty ideal of justice translate for communities distant from elite centers of knowledge and power? Focusing on women from rural communities in Benin, Senegal, and Togo, this paper applies the double lens of gender and capability to energy justice principles and addresses the following questions: 1) How do these rural women currently experience energy justice principles? And 2) What energy interventions could enhance these women’s capabilities in the future? The findings from our field interviews offer a diagnostic of energy justice for rural women, connecting the limited availability and affordability of energy sources to sustainability concerns in a vicious cycle of resource scarcity and impaired capabilities. We then propose interventions to apply justice principles in the local context and argue that operationalizing energy justice requires making gender equity a cross-cutting dimension in the energy justice framework. We contend that building just energy systems by 2050 would be best achieved by focusing on human capabilities, i.e., promoting people’s opportunities to live the life they value over allegedly universal energy metrics.

Ce contenu a été mis à jour le 2 mai 2023 à 10 h 00 min.