Does gender diversity in politics improve access to electricity and electrification inequality? A global analysis

Niharika Rustagi, Eric Evans Osei Opoku, Alex O. Acheampong

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Vast literature expounds that women are more sustainability-conscious and are more affected by issues of energy poverty. Another strand of literature upholds the effect of women's empowerment on social and sustainability outcomes. Goal 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals, among other things, seeks to reduce gender inequality, intensify women's empowerment and increase the participation and involvement of women in decision-making and politics. In line with this, this paper seeks to examine the impact of women's involvement in decision-making, and in this case, politics on access to electricity and the rural-urban divide in access to electricity. Women's involvement in politics is measured with the percentage of women holding seats in national parliaments. With a global sample of 111 countries over the period 2000–2020 and employing event study analysis and instrumental variable estimation with gender quota as an instrument, the following results are observed. Firstly, the event study analysis shows that access to electricity and equality in access to electricity are higher and significantly different for the adopters of gender quotas than the countries that never adopted the gender quotas policy. Secondly, an increase in women parliamentarians is associated with a significant increase in access to electricity and rural-urban equality in access to electricity. Thirdly, these findings are broadly consistent and robust across geographical regions and income groups (except for upper-middle-income countries). Lastly, increase in women parliamentarians is associated with a significant increase in access to electricity and rural-urban equality in access to electricity in countries with reserved seat quotas and not countries with candidate quotas. Our findings highlight that empowering women politically could contribute to addressing global energy poverty while ensuring equity in energy access.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107399
JournalEnergy Economics
Volume131
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024

Keywords

  • Electricity
  • Energy poverty
  • Gender diversity
  • Women in politics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • General Energy

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