A crisis in power. Energy planning for development.
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This document is the fifth chapter in a UN Gender Working Group book on the overlay of science and technology, sustainable human development, and gender issues. The introduction to this chapter on energy planning for development notes that in their haste to address energy resource management, policy-makers failed to address socioeconomic issues such as gender roles. Because 1) conventional energy planning is based on the erroneous assumption that the effects of energy technologies are gender-neutral, 2) S&T evolved in a patriarchal society, and 3) the status quo is biased towards socioeconomic groups with access to "high tech" energy sources, the energy needs of much of the world's population are ignored. A new model for energy use must recognize links with the environment and social welfare and the fact that merely increasing an energy supply does not guarantee improved social welfare. After providing a brief review of empirical knowledge on gender and energy issues, the chapter continues with an exploration of current knowledge and research needs in the policy areas of: 1) education and training in energy resources management; 2) global energy policy; 3) small- and medium-scale enterprises; and 4) poverty and basic needs. The chapter ends by tracing the historical context presented by UN initiatives to improve women's status over the past two decades and by noting that these initiatives have failed to advance women's position in the area of energy issues.