Gender Aspects of Cooking
Around the world, daily cooking responsibilities are largely held by women and girls. Clean cooking can ease the health problems and economic burdens that disproportionately impact them.
Every day, millions of women and girls around the world breathe in harmful smoke while cooking and spend hours walking far distances to secure cooking fuel. Reliance on polluting, open fires and inefficient fuels leads to health impacts like emphysema, cataracts, cancer, and heart disease, as well as economic impacts like the inability to achieve a complete education.Read our gender factsheet
2.4 billion people, or 40% of the world’s population, rely on polluting open fires and inefficient fuels such as wood, charcoal, coal, and kerosene for cooking.
Lack of access to clean cooking solutions forces women and children in many developing countries to spend as much as 10 hours a week collecting fuel. In some cases, women provide 91% of households’ total efforts to collect fuel and water, and women have an average working day of 11-14 hours, compared to an average of 10 hours for men.
A reduction in time spent collecting fuel and cooking enables women to pursue other activities, including income-generating or educational opportunities.
Providing women access to modern energy is a critical but often overlooked means of empowering women and advancing gender equality.
With clean cooking technologies, a woman could reduce or eliminate her exposure to household air pollution; cut down on cooking time; eliminate or reduce the number of trips she makes to fetch firewood; and be able to leverage the time saved to engage in productive economic activities, pursue educational opportunities, or simply rest.
Women play a critical role in increasing awareness and generating demand for clean cooking solutions, partly as a result of their networks and community relationships. The clean cooking value chain also offers new pathways for women’s economic empowerment, providing opportunities for women entrepreneurs to contribute to a thriving global industry for clean cooking.
More on Women and Clean Cooking
In line with its Gender Strategy, CCA supports organizations in adopting gender-informed business approaches, and ensures that women can be participants and leaders in clean cooking markets.
CCA’s six-step, gender-smart consulting service consists of a menu of customizable gender offerings for sector actors seeking to understand and adopt gender-smart approaches.