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South Asia WePOWER Network

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Welcome to the WePOWER Network website!

WePOWER is a vibrant voluntary women’s professional network in Energy and Power Sector in South Asia that supports women's participation in energy projects and institutions and promotes normative change regarding women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education.

WePOWER 's 28 Partners implement gender activities under five strategic pillars to address gaps in women's employment in energy sector and enrollment in STEM education. The total share of women in power utilities in South Asia ranges from 3% to 25%, and the share of women engineering/technical employees is even lower – less than 1% to 21%. 

In 2019, WePOWER had 11 partners and in 2020 the Network grew to 24 partners. From Feb 2019-Dec 2020, WePOWER partners completed 837 gender activities/outputs including STEM awareness sessions, study tours, internships, hiring, technical trainings, female facilities build – total over 50 various activities that benefitted 14,797 female participants.


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We’re pleased to announce the new WePOWER targets for 2021. We are very encouraged by the ambitious targets set by our 28 Partners.

Despite the restrictions due to the pandemic, our work continues. We deeply appreciate our partners' continued commitment to improving gender equality in the energy sector!  

Overview of 28 Partners: (* % is compared to 2020)

  • 2021 TOTAL = 611 Activities (72.9%) for 11,353 Females Beneficiaries (79%).
  • Our partners set overall lower targets for face-to-face workshops/training (total 30%) due to COVID. However, personal training for returning mothers (256%) increased for 2021, thanks to renewed awareness and interest from our Partners.
  • ­Webinar/online training for female students have been severely impacted (6.8% of 2020 targets). On the other hand, this has increased for female professionals (260%).
  • Amazingly, our partners are planning to hire more women, 216 from 165 last year (131%)!

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NEW Partner: Pakhtunkhwa Energy Development Organization (PEDO), Pakistan

WePOWER welcomes its new Partner from Pakistan, PEDO. Established In 1986, PEDO is implementing different Hydro Power projects across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. So far, PEDO has identified a potential of 3900 MW and is under the process of implementation in Private and Public Sectors.

As committed under the Pakistan: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Hydropower and Renewable Energy Development Project, PEDO is actively engaged with the WePOWER network. The List of Activities have been finalized and PEDO has formally become a WePOWER partner on July 1, 2021. Here is the link to the official LoA agreement.

NEW Publication: WePOWER Progress Report 2020

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We are very pleased to announce the launch of the WePOWER Progress Report 2020.  This report shows the collective achievements of our 24 Partners in 2020 and the commitments of our 27 Partners in 2021. Despite COVID-19, WePOWER Partners implemented 544 activities and benefited 9,410 women and girls in 2020. For 2021-2022, our partners have already committed to holding over 1,500 events and activities for over 26,000 female beneficiaries. 

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WePOWER STEMCOM Trainings 

WePOWER STEM Communications training is being piloted by the Alan Alda Center (Stony Brook University, NY) for select cohorts in India (May-June, 2021) and Pakistan (June-August, 2021) for women STEM graduates and young professionals in the energy sector. The course provides skills to articulate critical ideas related to STEM, focusing on energy transition and sustainable energy, to technical and non-technical audiences. The training uses evidence-based science communication techniques to empower the participants as effective leaders in today's knowledge economy. 

WePOWER E-Discussion

May 17-24, 2021 | Discussion Board | Participants: WePOWER Partners 

The WePOWER Interim Secretariat hosted an e-discussion on Understanding the Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic on Women Professionals in the Energy Sector: Reflecting on Challenges, Policies, and Solutions. The objective of the discussion was to track the developments and responses to this crisis by our partners and learn about their recovery plans and mitigation efforts across the region. More than 100 participants from around 50 cities shared their insights and ideas on the topics.
The e-discussion summary is coming soon!


WePOWER NEW Partners

Pakistan DISCOs Forum for WePOWER

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 As part of the Pakistan Electricity Distribution Efficiency Improvement Project, SAGE II hosted a virtual WePOWER forum with Pakistani Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) on June 2nd, 2021. The participants included the senior management and HR directors from the Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO), Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PESCO), Hyderabad Electric Supply Company (HESCO), and Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO). Following keynotes by Mr. Tauseef H. Farooqi, Chairman of the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), and Mr. Simon J. Stolp, Practice Manager of South Asia Energy, World Bank, the participants discussed barriers and opportunities to promoting gender equality in the Pakistani DISCO sector. WePOWER appreciates its other regional Partners - BPC, BREB, CEB, KE, WAPDA, WEP, and WIE for sharing their insights and experiences. We look forward to welcoming the DISCOs into the WePOWER family very soon. 

MoU between IEEE WIE and WePOWER

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An MoU was signed between WePOWER and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Women in Engineering (IEEE WIE). This agreement underscores IEEE WIE’s strong commitment to WePOWER. IEEE WIE is a crucial partner in reaching academic institutions, female engineering students, and professionals as our network continues to grow. 

The National Chapters of WePOWER

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The National Chapters of WePOWER are key to institutionalizing the network at the national level, fostering exchange of ideas, facilitating lateral learning, opening communications, and encouraging collaborative partnerships among national, institutional and strategic partners.  We will be implementing the National Chapters in several South Asia countries in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), following the Agreement.

In December 2020, WePOWER welcomed two important partners:

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Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID), India

Founded in 1989, Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID) is the state-owned transmission and distribution company and manages the inter-state HV transmission lines. About 50% of the total power generated in India travels through its transmission network. The company has over 9000 employees. POWERGRID has set a target to provide engineering internships to 120 female students, hire 12 female employees and continue supporting the professional network of its female employees. Please see here for more details.
 
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The Lanka Electricity Company is the largest distribution company in Sri Lanka. Together with CEB, all of the country’s on-grid electricity partners. The company has over 1500 employees and manages over 500,000 consumer accounts. LECO will train 50 housewives with the help of its 4 female engineers so that they can use the LECO app for paying bills and managing their accounts. The interactions will also encourage the women to promote STEM education to their daughters. LECO will train all female engineers (6) on general electric work at LECO training center. Please see here for more details.



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