“Worldwide, two billion people rely on traditional fuels such as wood, dung, and agricultural residue for cooking, agro-processing and heating. Women are the primary users and providers of these energy sources in many developing countries. Burdened by the demands for basic survival, much of their day is spent on high energy activities; cooking, collecting fuel, wood and water, as well as agricultural planting, harvesting, grinding, and milling. This drudgery has dramatic impact on women and their status in these communities. They are deprived of time for education, for engaging in income-generating activities, or caring for their health. Younger generations are not spared this reality as girls are often kept from attending primary schools in order to help their mothers meet family subsistence needs.”
This United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) page provides a wealth of information on the energy aspects of Millenium Development Goal 3, “promote gender equality and empower women.” Be sure to check out the case study section, which includes examples of lots of energy program types (rural electrification, solar energy, biogas, energy efficiency) in lots of different places (Mali, Tanzania, Gaza, Bhutan, Pakistan, Costa Rica).
Learn more: http://www.undp.org/energy/engmdgtop3gen.htm