Integrating Gender in Energy: A Case Study of Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA)

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Anum Irfan


Energy policies are often viewed as gender neutral, whereas policy decisions have far-reaching consequences and implications for women’s economic empowerment and equality between men and women. The detrimental consequence of having a gender-neutral policy is that the energy sector inadvertently discriminates against women’s integration in energy sector and their particular needs and expertise. In Pakistan, women constitute only 4 percent of the total energy workforce. The aim of the study was to present a case study on Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), the leading institution of energy in Pakistan in relation to integration of women in energy policy. For this purpose, primary data was collected through an online survey designed specifically for employees of WAPDA. The responses were enriched through conducting interviews of key female informants at WAPDA in leadership positions. The analysis technique used to gauge the level of gender-mainstreaming in WAPDA was through thematic analysis of identifying themes in interviews and statistical analysis of online responses. The findings highlighted almost 70 percent fewer women were employed in energy sector. Further issues in relation to retention of women, leadership and advancement were discussed to understand systemic obstacles for joining the energy sector. This study has implications for designing a gender-responsive energy framework that aims to integrate differential socio-cultural requirements, needs and priorities of women and men in order to overcome gender biases that hinder actions based on equality.

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Anum Irfan. (2022). Integrating Gender in Energy: A Case Study of Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA). Advances in Gender and Development Studies, 1(1), 22–31. Retrieved from

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