University of Sussex
Kasprowicz, Victoria.pdf (31.88 MB)

Understanding the gender-energy nexus in the context of off-grid electrification

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posted on 2023-11-20, 13:27 authored by Victoria Louise KasprowiczVictoria Louise Kasprowicz

In this thesis, I ask the question: what can the application of insights from the social practice theory and gender studies literatures, through a focus on appliance use, reveal about the gender-energy nexus? In doing so, I create a novel appliance-use based, gender-energy analytical framework. This framework uses appliance-use as an empirical entry point for exploring the gender-energy nexus. It also combines insights from the social practice theory and gender studies literatures to form various analytical lenses. These lenses focus on the themes of practices, participation, power relations, intersectional attributes, and space, place, time, and mobility. I operationalise and further develop this framework through interviews, focus groups, and participant observations across comparative case studies in Mayan-influenced communities in Alta Verapaz and Petén, Guatemala, and in Wayuu settlements in La Guajira, Colombia. From this work, I contribute to the gender-energy literature and efforts aimed at fostering positive interactions between Sustainable Development Goals SDG5 (gender equality) and SDG7 (affordable clean energy) by suggesting that the gender-energy nexus is performative, participatory, power-laden, intersectional, and social. I also propose my analytical framework as a possible toolkit of lenses through which to better understand the gender-energy nexus in areas undergoing electrification. For instance, using this set of lenses, I suggest it is possible to better understand how and why gender and modern energy access intersect with one another in ways that sustain, reinforce, resist, challenge, and/or modify existing local gender roles, identities, and relations. This contribution responds to calls for a more nuanced treatment of gender in the energy access policy discourse and a better understanding of how and why the gender-energy nexus appears to be transformative in some off-grid electrification contexts and not in others.


File Version

  • Published version


452 pages

Department affiliated with

  • SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit Theses

Qualification level

  • doctoral

Qualification name

  • phd


  • eng


University of Sussex

Full text available

  • Yes


Professor David Ockwell, Dr Robert Byrne, and Dr Elizabeth Mills

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