Alternative energy to help improve rural women’s life
ISLAMABAD: The alternative energy policy will address the need of all social segments of the society including rural women, as the sources of alternative energy can help improve their lives by providing access to clean energy.
This was stated by Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) Chief Executive Officer Arif Alauddin at a consultative workshop on Engendering the Medium Term Alternative Energy Policy of Pakistan on Monday.
The workshop was organized by AEDB in collaboration with Energia International and was attended by all stakeholders in the public and private sector.
Under an agreement with the Energia International, AEDB is to serve as the National Focal Point (NFP) for the Energia Network Group in Pakistan.
The Medium Term Renewable Energy Policy is currently under formulation and is being overseen by a Policy Review Committee, represented by essential public and private sector stakeholders, including the provinces.
Donors, such as ADB, GTZ, UNDP and USAID are providing the necessary technical assistance in the development of the policy.
The main objective of the exercise is to make the energy sector gender responsive by integrating gender needs and concerns in the policies and plans of the government. A team of gender and energy experts are currently reviewing the draft medium term renewable energy policy document with a gender perspective.
Arif Alaudin said that alternative energy policy is being formulated with the active participation of all stakeholders from public and private sector, especially provinces.He said that the AEDB was developing a broad data base, especially in wind sector with the help of international agencies and donors. However, he acknowledged that in the absence of bankable data in renewable energy Pakistan was far behind in this sector in the region.
The draft medium term renewable energy policy document and the proposed recommendations by the gender expert were shared with all the stakeholders during the workshop.
The gender experts spoke about the issues women folks faced in rural areas in the utilisation of traditional but costly fuel that is mainly firewood, cattle dung and LPG, while firewood was getting scarce and caused environmental degradation.
The speakers said that to promote renewable energy in rural areas it must cater to women’s energy needs.
The participants belonging to various public and private sector organisations suggested incorporating the needs and aspirations of the marginalised segments of the society, especially women.
The participants also highlighted the energy needs of women, which are different from the men’s.
They also highlighted the gender related issues and identified barriers and constraints in the past policies that did not bring the desired results, as anticipated by the policy makers.
Speakers belonging to NGOs working in the fields of social uplift and environment stressed upon the needs of rural population where both natural gas and electricity are unavailable.