03. Gender analysis

Major gender issues addressed by the project

Women (and children) are the hardest hit by indoor air pollution, since they spend more time by the fire, exposed to smoke – typically three to seven hours for the rural poor (Warwick & Doig 2004). These women who cook on biomass are up to four times more likely to suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, such as chronic bronchitis, and lung cancer in women in China has been directly linked to the use of coal burning stoves (Warwick & Doig 2004). Women are responsible for gathering of fuelwood, which results in back problems from carrying heavy loads, and girls are removed from school to assist with these household tasks (Warwick & Doig 2004) Using more efficient stoves would therefore reduce the amount of work for these women, and allow more time for other activities. Women are also likely to be responsible for producing most of the food for the family (FAO 2009), so would benefit from biochar as a soil additive. In addition, women farmers are frequently underestimated and overlooked in development strategies (FAO 2009). Illness in women from smoke inhalation will lead to difficulties in carrying out these tasks of gathering fuel wood, and maintaining the farm, so the introduction of biochar stoves has the potential to improve all these factors.

Targeting women

Women are the main target of this project, so can be accessed by including women’s groups in the workshops and discussion groups. Where questions specific to women are being discussed, all enumerators will be women to encourage discussion and to allow opinions to be voiced freely. The project aims to empower women; they must have control in the development of new technologies and be involved in all parts of the transition. Since cooking is a deeply cultural task, women must be directly involved in developing solutions which suit their circumstances (Warwick & Doig 2004).

Benefits for women

har gasification stoves are a potential solution to some of the difficulties faced by the rural poor (both men and women), including smoke inhalation from indoor air pollution (IAP), ill-health, gender inequalities and hunger (from poor agricultural productivity). They can provide part of the solution for 7 of the 8 development goals which aim to reduce global poverty (Warwick & Doig 2004). This output report will provide information which will enable development of new projects which prioritise community engagement which will lead to meeting the needs of the rural poor through these technological innovations. Participants from communities, NGOs and other stakeholders will benefit from workshops and support of the networks created by the project.

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