Mothers, grandmothers and daughters often have a lot on their plates—even more so in developing countries where health, education and social protection are scarce, and energy systems are often emerging.
Since the end of 2015, the Buhari government has introduced major reforms to gasoline and kerosene subsidies, with a new “price modulation” policy that has seen upward adjustments in the price of both fuels—at the same time that major problems with supply continue, driving domestic prices above official levels in many areas.
This study conducts a detailed analysis of the compensation mechanisms that could be used to mitigate the impact of fuel subsidy removal on weak and vulnerable segments of Nigerian society. The study suggests actionable proposals that the government could pursue if it decides that it must mitigate the social impact of ongoing future price increases as well as pro-poor policies in which the government could invest as part of its general budgeting, given the fiscal space created by subsidy reforms.
October 23, 2016
There is a significant and growing body of research regarding the impact and benefit of energy subsidies and reform with regards to the poor, but there is very little information or research regarding the impact and implications of energy sector reforms on gender.
A new report from IISD's Global Subsidies Initiative (GSI), entitled Gender and Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform, suggests that the reform of fossil fuel subsidies should focus assistance towards women in poverty.
This report explores current knowledge on energy subsidy reforms and gender through a review of existing literature.
First, it sets out the global context of energy subsidies, energy access and gender empowerment. It then reviews literature on gender, energy access, fossil fuel subsidies and mitigation measures related to subsidy reform, such as cash transfers. Finally, it provides an overview of these issues across three focus countries: Bangladesh, India and Nigeria, as well as case studies on Peru, Mexico and Morocco.
It is well understood that increasing fuel product prices can be a shock for low-income households, requiring careful mitigation strategies to ensure that subsidy reform does not harm the most vulnerable.
Kerosene subsidies are expensive: estimated to be more than US$ 4 billion in West Africa and more than US$ 5 billion in India. What are governments—often with highly limited resources—achieving by spending all this money? And with an increasing number of countries committing to reform subsidies, what will it mean for energy access if these policies are removed?
The downturn in oil prices over the past year has hit Nigeria’s public budget hard. When money is tight, it seems obvious that governments should first phase out programmes that are expensive and have low benefit to their intended beneficiaries.