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Gender Map of the Solar Energy Sector in Northern Philippines

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Salas, Maria Angelica O.
Conference: Commons Amidst Complexity and Change, the Fifteenth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Conf. Date: May 25-29
Date: 2015
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/9859
Sector: New Commons
Social Organization
Region: East Asia
Subject(s): gender
solar energy
Abstract: "In the face of increasing energy prices and the challenges presented by climate change, renewable energies have now become one of the most important topics on the political stage. Long before the Renewable Energy Bill was passed in 2008, the Philippines’ Department of Energy (DOE), through its Rural Electrification Program, had already installed solar home systems (SHS) and solar battery charging stations (SBCS) in upland communities in the provinces of Abra and Ilocos Sur in Northern Philippines. The operation and maintenance of solar technology lies on how the men and women in those communities handle this renewable energy, hence a gender map is deemed important. Utilizing the Gender Analysis Framework of the Asian Development Bank (2002) and guided by the Actor-Based Model of Human Ecology by Orlove (1977) and the 'Structure of Constraint' concept by Folbre (1997), the research involved 337 respondents to determine who, between the men and women, are more involved in the various activities affecting their lives as well as who can access and control the resources necessary for their survival. Social factors, namely: demographic, economic, cultural, and institutional factors were considered in the study. Reproductive activities such as housekeeping and taking care of children are done by the mothers while community and leisure activities involve both men and women. For the productive activities, men dominate in the pre-operation, operation and maintenance of the solar energy systems. Resources, such as materials, and labor are mostly availed of and controlled by men while capital and credit are mostly controlled by women. There was no training conducted regarding solar technology. Respondents find the materials available but unaffordable. Technical assistance is non-existent but the system is simple and its process is comprehensible. Social factors are related to the men and women’s involvement in reproductive, community, leisure, and productive activities as well in their access and control of resources namely capital, materials, labor, and credit."

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