‘40pc Pakistanis have access to clean cooking energy’

Rasheed Khalid
Friday, Mar 31, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Research shows that women in rural areas are not only burdened with the collection of bio-mass for energy but also suffer the health burden of respiratory diseases from exposure to hazardous smoke.

This was stated by Dr. Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) while speaking at a seminar on ‘Women in energy: a perspective on clean energy transition’ organised here by SDPI.

Dr. Suleri said that gender-segregated data is a key element in gender affirmative responses and ensuring gender mainstreaming in climate policies as well as making substantial progress towards the SDGs that call for gender equality.

Annam Lodhi, Research and Media Coordinator, Renewable First, stressed on the role of social media in leveraging awareness of the women, climate, and energy nexus. She suggested that a robust engagement with media can play a pivotal role in increasing awareness and raising the issue of gender disparity in energy access and participation of female labour in the energy sector.

Sadia Qayyum, an energy specialist at, World Bank, said that the energy policies in Pakistan were traditionally blind to the differences in gender-wise energy consumption and the different impacts they have on genders. She said that only 40% of Pakistanis have access to clean cooking energy and the disparity worsens based on income levels and rural to urban divide.

Nameerah Hameed, founder, of Women in Energy, said that the energy sector globally is male-dominated and women account for only 4.6% of technical staff in the energy sector and 3.6% in administrative positions. She stressed on increasing the participation of women in climate and development solutions and increasing their engagement in climate actions, and in public leadership roles leading to climate responses. She further said that women's representation in country delegations must be increased to at least to 50% at CoP to mainstream gender equality in leadership positions.

Fiza Qureshi, Programme Manager, Indus Consortium & Member, PREC, said that Pakistan is the second worst performing country in terms of gender parity which is also evident in energy access. She said that rural women spend most of their time at home shouldering the entire burden of household chores making them highly vulnerable to energy poverty.

Afia Malik from PIDE called for long-term integrated institutional and political measures to create a strong foundation of sustainable economic empowerment of women, especially in rural areas.