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New report examines links between women’s care work and clean energy

A woman holds a curtain back to look out into her street.
IDRC/Tom Pilston
Bibi Nazereen cares for her family from their home in Lahore, Pakistan.

An IDRC-commissioned publication provides key insights on the relationship between the care economy and global efforts to transition to clean energy.

As the world’s pandemic recovery efforts continue, clean energy and the care crisis have become critical points of discussion, yet few connections have been made between these issues and their intersection with women’s economic empowerment. Despite an abundance of research on these three thematic areas individually, an understanding of how they impact one another is only beginning to emerge.  

A new publication commissioned by IDRC and developed by Kate Grantham, founder and executive director of FemDev Consulting, identifies the existing research and evidence linking women's economic empowerment, care work and clean energy. The publication outlines the role of women in clean energy development, the barriers to women's employment and entrepreneurship in this sector and the impact of clean energy technologies on care work. It also highlights existing policies and solutions that can turn the transition to clean energy into an opportunity to address gender inequalities, especially in the care economy. In addition, the report highlights the perils of inaction. 


Engaging on these topics in policy discussions is crucial for accelerating efforts. Recent events, including the Bali Care Dialogue and the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, are beginning to emphasize how future work in these areas can address the compounding challenges of the climate emergency and growing gender inequalities. 

Continued research on the barriers to mainstreaming gender equality in our climate action strategies will be necessary as policymakers and leaders work towards finding solutions that benefit all, including the most vulnerable populations. This research will also ensure that women are integrated as critical actors with leading roles in the transition towards a sustainable clean energy future. 

Watch a video of the author, Kate Grantham, summarizing the report.  

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