Webinar: Women Leaders Set forth the agenda of Gender Equity in Pakistan’s Clean Energy Transition
“Pakistan’s clean energy transition agenda is not complete without gender equity” that was the crux during the Pakistan Private Sector Energy Project’s webinar, “Embracing Equity in the Clean Energy Transition,” in which women leaders working in all facets of clean energy transition, from power sector to mobility, from industries to climate finance and development, shared their experiences in breaking glass ceilings and entering into relatively male-dominant fields and positions. As March is women’s history month, the webinar explored global themes with a local lens, of embracing equity and leveraging technology for gender inclusion. PPSE partnered with Women in Energy for the webinar, the country’s leading network of women in the energy sector.
PPSE is a USAID funded project, implemented by PFAN in partnership with UNIDO and REEEP.
Panelists covered diverse tenets and components of the clean energy transition, from power to mobility to industries to climate finance and development, each topic was integral to shedding light on equity issues in these sectors that need to work in tandem to build a more equal and sustainable world.
The webinar was inaugurated with welcome remarks from USAID leadership:
It is a privilege to hear from so many women who have made a niche for themselves in an otherwise very male dominated field in Pakistan and in fact, the world over. Within renewable energy, women’s participation is much lower in STEM posts and technical jobs than in administrative positions.
– Stephen Berlinguette, Deputy Director, Economic Growth and Sustainability, USAID Pakistan
The panel discussions then ensued with leadership from the textile industry commenting on how sustainability and equity can be weaved within the textile industry in Pakistan, that is one of the biggest contributors to the country’s GDP but also a relatively high carbon emitter and is also disproportionately impacted by the energy crisis in Pakistan.
Most of our consumers are women, so it only makes sense that the minds that are behind making are products are also women. From conceptualization to the points of sourcing, we have healthy representation of women in our company but we can always do more and better.
– Mehwish Walliany, COO, AlKaram Studios
Building equitable policy and infrastructure for women’s access to energy is imperative for the energy transition. Policies ensuring equal pay for the same work, strategies for removing barriers to entry such as vocational/technical training were discussed as well.
We need to understand the opportunities available to close the gender gap. According to IRENA by 2030, there will be about more than 32 million jobs in the renewable energy sector. To fill the gap, we can’t just include women in a subset of jobs but throughout the sector.
– Ayla Majid, Founder/CEO Planetzin and Member Global Future of Energy, World Economic Forum
As PFAN Global and the PPSE’s objective is to strengthen climate finance infrastructure within all emerging economies, special consideration was given to leading women in the climate finance sector in Pakistan.
I would argue that women have a smaller carbon footprint than male counterparts because of lack of same opportunities. This is why as more women enter in to renewable energy and climate finance, we must align gender inclusion with sustainability to capture SDGs. We have a clear view that we will go for sustainable lending
– Ayesha Aziz, Founder/MD, Pak Brunei Investment Company.
Mobility is both a barrier to access for women’s participation in the workforce but also an untapped opportunity, which is why the webinar focused on the opportunities afforded by e-mobility to women.
The e-mobility infrastructure needs to be strengthened so women are not stranded and don’t face harassment. Safety features in EVs such as alarms can help women more secure. The more women we see on roads, the more acceptable and safe it will become.
– Dr. Kiran Siraj, Electrical Engineer and EV Expert
Speaking to the theme of Women’s History Month of “DIGITALL: The Power of Technology for Inclusion”, panelists explored how technology and social media can be leveraged to involve more women from diverse strata in the clean energy transition.
We noticed that during the Covid-19 pandemic when most of our events and networking went online, more women started to attend as the usual barriers such as, household responsibilities and mobility were removed. So technology and online platforms are great tools to women’s inclusion.
– Nameerah Hamid, Founder, Women in Energy.
The webinar’s keynote closing speech was addressed by Nadia Aftab, Country Representative, UNIDO Pakistan, who stressed on the importance of Industries to lead the charge when it comes to inculcating inclusive practices, policies and dialogue throughout the work and supply chain.
I would love to see women’s equal representation in all programs and forums that are about clean energy and not just women-specific programs, that can be done if we all work together, with partner organizations on the mandate of inclusive and sustainable development.
– Nadia Aftab, Country Representative, UNIDO Pakistan
You can watch the recording of the webinar here: PPSE Webinar: Embracing Equity in the Clean Energy Transition – YouTube
Webinar Photo Gallery