Canada Research Chair and Professor
London, Ontario (Canada)
From October 23 to November 6, 2017
Bipasha Baruah is the Canada Research Chair in Global Women’s Issues and a tenured full professor in the Department of Women’s Studies and Feminist Research at Western University. Dr. Baruah conducts interdisciplinary research on gender, development and globalization; women and work; and social, political and economic inequality. Her research on women and property ownership and women’s employment in renewable energy has influenced policy within governments, financial institutions and NGOs. Dr. Baruah’s research appears in journals such as World Development, Feminist Economics, Development in Practice, Progress in Development Studies, Canadian Journal of Development Studies, Labor Studies, Environment and Planning, Geography Compass and Natural Resources Forum. Her 2010 book, Women and Property in Urban India, was published by the University of British Columbia Press. She contributes articles and op-eds to a variety of newspapers, magazines and blogs. Dr. Baruah also has 12 years of professional international development experience with aid agencies, development banks, NGOs, labour associations and think tanks.
Concerns about environmental sustainability and fossil-fuel insecurity have motivated countries around the world to transition to clean energy supplies derived from renewables such as solar, hydro, bioenergy, geothermal and wind. Since producing and distributing clean energy is more labor-intensive than producing and distributing fossil fuels, this shift is creating new employment opportunities and addressing energy poverty in remote or under-served communities. Although there is tremendous potential to create employment in clean energy almost everywhere in the world, there is a growing concern that women, who are already severely underrepresented in the sector, will become even more marginalized if gender equity policies and programs are not proactively planned and implemented. My research project identifies similarities and differences in occupational patterns in women’s employment in clean energy in different world regional contexts, and makes recommendations for optimizing their participation.