Gender and Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform, Current Status of Research (GSI)

This report by the Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI) together with partners in Bangladesh, India and Nigeria explores the impacts of fossil fuel subsidy reform on poor women.  There has been little research on the impact of subsidies and their reform on women, yet it is well understood that such subsidies are often badly targeted, with little of the benefits reaching the very poor. Despite high subsidies to fossil fuels in many countries, energy access for poor women e.g. access to clean lighting and cooking fuels remains critically low.   The report finds that there are many opportunities for governments to redirect fossil fuel subsidies towards broader social welfare cash transfer programmes and targeted energy access interventions as has been the case in Peru, Morocco and Mexico.  Countries such as Bangladesh, India and Nigeria are currently undergoing the process of fossil fuel subsidy reform. India is currently working to target gas subsidies towards poorer households through a nationwide ‘Give It Up’ campaign.  This report highlights some policy options to better target such subsidies towards poor women.