This workshop was organised by Hira Wajahat (Stimulus & Women in Energy Pakistan) and Dr Rihab Khalid (Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge), in collaboration with the Pakistan Water & Power Development Authority (WAPDA). Participants were invited from across Pakistan’s energy sector, including representatives from policy bodies, regulatory authorities, electric utilities, international donor agencies, NGOs, social enterprises, and academics working on energy access issues.
The one-day workshop commenced with an introduction to the project by Ms Hira and presentation of the key interview findings for the Pakistan case by Dr Rihab. This was then followed by Session 1 which included a panel response to the policy brief by top energy experts. The panel consisted of Ms Saadia Qayyum from the World Bank PK, Mr Saad Latif from K-Electric; Mr Mehroze Rafique from NEPRA, Mr Zaigham Mehmood Rizvi, Chairman PM Housing Task Force, Brig. Shoaib Taqi (Retd) from WAPDA, Mr Shah Jahan Mirza from PPIB, and Ms Sobiah Becker from FCDO. Each panellist provided a 5-min response to the policy brief, highlighting key issues and next steps for improving gender equity in Pakistan’s energy sector. This was then followed by Q&A from the audience.
Session 2 included a consultation with the workshop participants, convened by Ms Maha Kamal and Ms Aliya Khan from Women in Energy, Pakistan. In a more interactive format, the workshop participants formed smaller groups to identify key challenges and barriers to gender equity in policy and practice. At the end of the session, key highlights were noted and discussed from each group. Session 3, also led by Women in Energy, focused on gender sensitisation including brainstorming activities to identify best practices and way forward towards improved gender equity. The session included case study presented by Ms Farhana Mazhar (Gender Specialist, WAPDA). The workshop concluded with networking over lunch.
The workshop generated positive response and acknowledgment for the importance of gender equity in energy policies and practices and provided the opportunity for open dialogue between representatives across Pakistan’s energy sector. Based on the interactive brainstorming sessions, joint consensus was reached on the following expected outcomes:
- Building consensus towards a gender-responsive energy policy with integrated planning.
- Introducing the importance of community-based solutions and innovation for greater gender equity.
- Building awareness on the need for multidisciplinary energy programs that create better social outcomes in energy, highlighting the need to view energy not just through greater STEM enrolment but developing a systems-approach.
- Strengthening awareness on the need for women in leadership in energy.
- Underscoring the need for data collection bodies at the organisational, local, and national level to ensure the availability of gender-sensitive data and strengthening understanding of gender disaggregated data that currently exists at the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics at the national and provincial levels.
- Developing organisational policies and behaviour that create gender equity (e.g. inclusion of women representatives in hiring committees, creation of sexual harassment committees, Gender-sensitive HR policies, such as flexible working hours, options for working from home, maternity and paternity leaves, day care centres etc.)