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Mapping gendered vulnerability to energy poverty in Romania

A Correction to this article was published on 14 January 2023

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Gender inequities and their territorial impact (by a dissociate modelling of social relations) are of more and more interest for scholars, including the research studies regarding energy poverty. This paper analyzes spatial and social gender differentiations in Romania as indicators of vulnerability to energy poverty. The link between gender discrepancies and the susceptibility to energy poverty is enhanced by a series of gender-sensitive indicators and their impact in the 3181 territorial-administrative units in Romania. Spatial and statistical analyzes are, therefore, performed for indicators of vulnerable groups: age factors (population older than 75 years old; children with ages up to 4 years old), dependency indices (age dependency; economic dependency), health status (population with disabilities or limitative illnesses), employment status (unemployed, part-time employed, pensioners), or living conditions (dwellings without electricity, dwellings without heat services). The interrelations of different social axes and their territorial variations is demonstrated trough Principal Components Analysis and the results are spatialized using Multivariate Clustering, resulting vulnerability maps with a high-level of predictability. Even though results show gender discrepancies in rural areas, the female population is more prone to being energy poor due to the higher number of gender-sensitive indicators present within the same area. Based on these findings, enhancement measures can be taken for these communities so as to reduce the level of vulnerability and assure a socio-economic status beyond poverty; once the vulnerability is mapped, it is the responsibility of the local and national authorities to take action.

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ArcMap; ArcGIS Pro; IBM SPSS Statistics.

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(2011 Census) and the scale of analysis (NUTS 5) can be considered limitations in the current approach. However, the indicators used in this study are derived based on the most recent information that is unavailable at higher scales (E.g., economic indices are not disaggregated at the census tracts scale). Comparing the two methodological approaches, it is without doubt that each has its own utility. Consequently, by combining them, the results facilitate comparisons, interpretations and conclusions regarding the weight each indicator has in predicting vulnerability to energy poverty.

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This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.


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Correspondence to Elena-Manuela Bîrsănuc.

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Bîrsănuc, EM. Mapping gendered vulnerability to energy poverty in Romania. Appl. Spatial Analysis 15, 1319–1338 (2022).

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