Women's electrification.


This study draws lessons from experience with rural electrification in Europe and the US, on the ideology of women's electrification and how this may apply in developing countries today. Rural electrification came 30 years later in the US than in Europe, but quickly reached urban levels. In Europe, rural electrification was used mainly for lighting, radio and some farm equipment. In the US, federal funding was used not only to develop grids but to provide access to electric productive equipment and domestic appliances. The latter quickly became the bigger success. Rural electric cooperatives were able to cut costs by 30-50% compared to the existing large private and public utilities, and showed that the poor could pay. Women's desire for home appliances drove the rural market and high load, bolstered by home economics, a ready-made ideology for the electricity industry. Electric appliances relieved women of hard burdens and allowed them to work more efficiently in their homes, and go out to paid work. Developing countries should also consider this model of \"women's electrification.\"


Case Study Report, 74 pp.

Women’s electrification.

Published 1 January 2005