Gender and LPG use after government intervention in rural north India.

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Date: Dec. 2021
From: World Development(Vol. 148)
Publisher: Elsevier Science Publishers
Document Type: Report; Brief article
Length: 392 words

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Abstract :

Keywords Energy transition; Solid fuels; LPG; Gender; India Highlights * The use of solid fuels for cooking persists in rural north India despite large government subsidies encouraging LPG adoption. * Using new quantitative and qualitative data, we find that patriarchal gender norms and attitudes encourage the use of solid fuels in this region. * These beliefs encourage women to preserve gas, promote work that facilitates the use of solid fuels, and hinder communication about LPG refills. * Those that regularly use gas often do so to facilitate the adherence to norms of seclusion that keep women from leaving home to collect solid fuels. * Future research and policy interventions should pay careful attention to the gender norms and attitudes that discourage the use of gas. Abstract Exposure to air pollution from cooking with solid fuels has important consequences for public health. This paper focuses on rural north India, where despite robust economic growth and government subsidies, the vast majority of households mainly use solid fuels. We draw on new qualitative and quantitative data collected in the context of a policy environment that dramatically expanded ownership of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) to examine why households are slow to adopt clean fuels in rural north India. We find that patriarchal gender norms and attitudes encourage the use of solid fuels in this region. North Indian society confers low status to women, promotes women's seclusion, and constrains women's engagement in economic activities outside of the home. These beliefs encourage women to preserve gas, promote women's work that facilitates the use of solid fuels, and hinder communication between the cook and the decision-maker regarding LPG refills. When rural north Indian households use gas, it is frequently to facilitate the adherence to norms of seclusion that prevent women from leaving the home to collect solid fuels. In addition to expanding access and improving economic conditions, future research and policy interventions should pay careful attention to the gender norms and attitudes that discourage the use of gas. Addressing these beliefs and norms is essential to sustained LPG use and health improvements. Author Affiliation: (a) University of Texas at Austin and r.i.c.e., 2225 Speedway, Austin, TX 78712, United States (b) University of Pennsylvania and r.i.c.e., United States * Corresponding author. Article History: Accepted 23 August 2021 Byline: Sangita Vyas [sangita.vyas@utexas.edu] (a,*), Aashish Gupta [aashishg@sas.upenn.edu] (b), Nazar Khalid [nazark@sas.upenn.edu] (b)

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A675780659