Across the developing world, women and girls typically bear the brunt of domestic tasks, with lack of access to clean energy increasing the burden.

Without electricity, domestic chores like washing clothes and preparing food can dominate women’s lives. Having to cook on inefficient stoves and open fires means more time spent cooking and collecting firewood.

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It stands to reason that if women and girls suffer most from lack of access to clean cooking and electricity, they’ll also benefit more than men from the introduction of more efficient cookstoves and fuels, as well as local sustainable electricity to power lights and labour-saving appliances.

It’s not just easier household tasks that affordable access to clean energy brings, it also opens doors to new educational, economic and social opportunities, allowing women to challenge traditional gender roles. New jobs like sales agents for solar distribution companies, area managers for cookstoves NGO’s and entrepreneurial roles within the mobile money sector are all jobs that we’ve seen provided through the work of our winners.

This report from Ashden, commissioned by the Department for International Development (DFID) and the international gender and energy network Energia, marks the starting point of an effort to dig deeper into the issue.

2014 Ashden Award winner Greenway Appliances