Covid-19 has raised new barriers to building inclusive and prosperous economies and societies. The Global Gender Gap Report 2021 estimates that it may take 136 years to achieve gender parity, with overall income disparities still some way off from being bridged. Projections for a select number of countries in South Asia show that gender gaps in labor force participation are wider since the outbreak of the pandemic. Globally, the economic gender gap may be between one percent and four percent wider than reported.

Lack of gender parity permeates everything – including access to energy. When a household gains electricity, usually, the men of the household benefit more. More fans and bulbs are found in spaces where the men have more access, while traditionally women’s spaces like kitchens are poorly lit, indicating that electricity access is gendered. However, in houses run on women’s income, more appliances are found in common spaces like kitchen or study areas for children, compared to a house run on a man’s income.

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