About the Author: Alberto Rodriguez serves as a spokesman at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan.
President Asif Ali Zardari, U.S. Coordinator for Economic Assistance Ambassador Robin Raphel, and Senator Rukshana Zuberi today launched the "Women in Energy" conference on energy conservation, energy efficiency and solar power. The conference is being organized jointly by Women in Energy (WIE), a Pakistani non-governmental organization, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in order to discuss energy conservation, energy efficiency and green energy models for Pakistan.
“The timing of this event could not be better. The Government of Pakistan has embarked on fundamental effort to reform the power sector. These reforms are key to Pakistan's economic and social development, and future security,” said Ambassador Raphel at the opening ceremony of the conference.
In addition to pursuing renewable energy issues, the conference also aims to raise the awareness of the public on how energy issues affect women and girls throughout Pakistan, and to encourage women to take a more active role in green energy initiatives. The Women in Energy (WIE) NGO was founded in 2009 by Senator Zuberi with other professionals who advocate for Pakistan's energy security. WIE aims to encourage individuals, organizations, and government bodies to participate and contribute towards the overall objective of energy conservation by saving up to 30 percent of energy through efficiency measures and awareness.
The United States and Pakistan have embarked on a Strategic Dialogue to broaden and deepen our bilateral relationship. The Strategic Dialogue includes working groups on energy and on women's empowerment. The United States is also working in partnership with the Government of Pakistan to improve the country's energy security, including by providing support to the Government's efforts to reform the energy sector, rehabilitate and complete several dams and thermal power plants, as well as to improve the efficiency of the power distribution companies. Through all of its programs, the United States is also supporting Pakistan's efforts to ensure gender equality.