This release has been cross-posted from the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. The original may be viewed here.
More than 125 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance today. In fact, 12 million were newly displaced just in the past year. As aid agencies and NGOs worldwide increase their focus on providing lifesaving aid, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (the Alliance) wants to ensure that the critical energy needs of crisis-affected people are met, especially those of the women and girls who risk their safety just to collect the fuel needed to cook their families' meals.
In order to raise awareness about this gap in humanitarian assistance and to better understand what is being done, the Alliance reviewed existing evidence on the relationship between gender-based violence (GBV) and fuel collection in humanitarian settings. The results are now available in the Alliance's white paper, Gender-based Violence in Humanitarian Settings: Cookstoves and Fuels. This literature review outlines the existing evidence, as well as the critical gaps in research, and makes the case for why prioritization of further research and evaluations are critical to better understand the impacts that clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels have on reducing GBV.
The evidence is clear: incidences of non-partner violence during fuel collection have been widely assessed and reported in the past decade by agencies such as UNHCR, the Danish Refugee Council, and Physicians for Human Rights. Now we need stronger evidence on which approaches are most effective in reducing risks associated with a lack of access to energy for cooking.
The Alliance, with support from the Government of Finland and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), will begin building this evidence base by commissioning a comprehensive research study. Researchers are encouraged to apply to the Alliance's new Request for Applications for a study to address if and how cooking energy solutions reduce the risks of GBV in humanitarian settings.
But one study is not enough. The Alliance emphasizes the need for a collaborative effort by multiple agencies to build a body of evidence linking clean cooking technology and fuel to life-enhancing outcomes.
Together we can focus greater attention and understanding on the nexus of GBV and access to clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels, as well as the potential of energy access to improve women's lives.