Reliance on biomass for cooking and heating forces women and children to spend hours each week collecting wood, time that could be better spent on income generation, education, or other activities. Where fuel must be purchased, primarily in urban areas, families struggling to meet their basic needs can pay as much as one-third of their income to purchase sufficient fuel to cook their daily meal.
Clean Cooking Solutions Improve Livelihoods
Replacing traditional cookstoves with more efficient technologies saves households time and money. In addition the clean cookstove and fuel value chain offers new pathways for local economic empowerment. Local entrepreneurs can participate in the clean cooking value chain, earning income from product design, engineering, manufacturing, marketing, distribution, and sales of clean cookstoves and fuels.
Women can also catalyze the market as clean energy entrepreneurs by leading efforts to develop effective, culturally-appropriate, and sustainable solutions. Women entrepreneurs are an untapped resource and leveraging women’s strengths is a huge opportunity for the sector. Women’s networks can open doors for clean energy technology businesses and provide access to consumers in hard-to-reach markets and women distributors can often better understand the needs of other women and more easily approach their clients regarding the health, economic, and other benefits of clean cookstoves and fuels.