Access to electricity; Clean energy services; Energy poverty; Gender inequality
Gender inequality has improved slightly over recent decades, but it is still a critical issue across the globe, especially in developing countries. This study investigates the influence of energy poverty reduction on gender inequality, using a sample of 51 developing countries from 2002 to 2017 and considering four dimensions: employment, health, education, and socio-political-economic rights. By applying a two-step system generalised method of moments estimator to deal with endogeneity, the results are shown to be statistically robust. Reduction in energy poverty appears to increase employment opportunities for women, especially in industry and service sectors, which results in an improvement in the number of female wage and salaried workers in comparison with their male counterparts. Energy poverty reduction is also found to re-balance gender inequality in health indicators. Notably, reduced energy poverty is an influential factor in gender equality in education and socio-economic rights. The results are checked for robustness by five different proxies of energy poverty reduction and different estimate strategies. Based on these findings, the governments of developing countries should focus principally on alleviating energy poverty as the first and most crucial policy to curb gender inequality.