Women's active participation is required to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) by 2030.
"In order to achieve the SDGs by 2030, women's participation in the prominent role in power sector is essential," said Zuena Aziz, Principal Coordinator of SDGs.Target 5.5 of SDG goal 5 is to ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision making in political, economic and public life.
"Raising awareness and empowering women of the country will help them participate in the movement of achieving SDG 7- ensure affordable and clean energy" she added while speaking as chief guest at a webinar titled: "Role of Women in Building An Energy Conscious Society" on Wednesday.
Md Habibur Rahman Power Secretary and Dr Angelika Fleddermann, Country Director, GIZ Bangladesh, addressed the webinar as the special guests.
Asma Huque, managing director of Prokousholi Sangshad Ltd, Tanuja Bhattacharjee, Energy Specialist, The World Bank, Farzana Mamtaz, Member (Joint Secretary), Energy Efficiency and Conservation, SREDA, were present as panelists.
The webinar was organised by Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA).
SREDA chairman Mohammed Alauddin said that two executives out of four are female who are working at SREDA."As long as, women remain left behind, it will remain challenging for us to achieve SDG 7 within the targeted period," he added.
Habibur Rahman said that women need to be engaged in all the aspects of SDGs so that they can play a prominent to build an energy conscious society.
He also called for women participation in clean energy production.
Speaking at the webinar, Farzana Mamtaz said that women, in our country' prefer to desk job to field job because of the convenient facilities that serve their traditional intention.
"Offering attractive packages at the entry level, ensuring child care facility at office, arranging focus training and facilities will attract more women to the energy sector," she added.
Since the whole work process in the energy sector can be divided into two parts--- technical operation and policy formulation, the number of woman is greater in policy part compared to the technical part.
"Nowadays women are visible in the renewable energy sector because this sector deals with the off-grid power production," said Tanuja Bhattacharjee. In response to a query, Tanuja Bhattacharjee said that there are two types of consumption
of energy such as: purchasing gas at fixed rate and constant energy purchase.
"Due to the lack of awareness, many housemakers who consume energy at fixed rate, tend to waste energy than others," she added.
Under such circumstances, raising awareness can lead one to participating in building energy conscious society.
Christine Lins, Executive Director, Global Women's Network for Energy Transition (GWNET) gave the keynote speech.
In the keynote speech, Christine Lins shared policies and solutions to increase women’s participation in the sector.
Policies and solutions:
Part-time employment, flexi-time and job-sharing, paid parental leave, fair and transparent internal processes (appraisal and promotion), balance wage gaps, awareness of opportunities, mentorship programmes, publishing training opportunities, apprenticeships and other necessary facilities need to be offered to women.
The keynote speech also revealed that there will be 42 million jobs in 2050 while highlighting women in energy transition.
To date, Bangladesh has already attained or made remarkable progress in reaching the goals set for 2020 under the UN SDGs.
Under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the SDGs were well aligned with the government mid-term development plan --7th Five Year Plan (FYP) ende4d in June 2020.
The upcoming 8th FYP will concurrently be the second successive document of the government’s SDGs implementation.