The 5-year Gender and Citizen Engagement (CE) Work Program of Ethiopia Electric Utility (EEU) lays out the key priorities and actions to be taken on progress towards gender equality and citizen engagement as part of overall energy sector engagements, including annual targets and the required budgets. The document is divided into two parts: (1) the EEU Gender Work Program and (2) the EEU Citizen Engagement Work Program, both covering the period for 2018–2023.

The Government of Ethiopia (GoE) is explicitly committed to the achievement of gender equality. The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE) Constitution clearly stipulates the rights of women, and the Women’s Policy of Ethiopia reiterates the Government’s commitment to gender equality. The Ethiopia Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II) envisages strengthening women’s empowerment to ensure women’s active participation in the political, social and economic development that is taking place in the country, and on equity issues for citizens related to service delivery. In addition, strides are being taken in strengthening citizen engagement mechanisms in the country across sectors.

Following the release of the Government’s National Energy Strategy (NES-2016) and reflecting on its recommendations, Ethiopia’s National Electrification Program (NEP) - Implementation Roadmap (IRM) presents the Government’s action plan for achieving universal electricity access nationwide by 2025 in a strategic, comprehensive, efficient and transparent manner for the benefit of all its citizens. The Ethiopian Electrification Program (ELEAP) aims to increase access to electricity in Ethiopia and to enhance institutional capacity for planning and implementation of the electrification program.

ELEAP will support the implementation of the NEP, with a focus on scaling-up electricity connections in areas within the network reach under Pillar 1 (densification) as well as increasing access to specific targeted off-grid technologies under Pillar 2 (public programs supporting stand-alone solar systems and mini-grids). Pillar 3 is focused on sector capacity and institutional reform. While national energy planning is often focused on increasing the supply of fuel or electricity, limited attention is given to gender and citizen engagement aspects, for example women’s employment issues, gender-based violence, public consultation on service quality or re-training staff to adopt consumer-centered approaches.

ELEAP applies a results-based financing approach, financing the activities of the NEP’s three pillars. This includes the activities outlined in the gender and citizen engagement work program. The disbursement under the proposed ELEAP will be governed by a set of seven disbursement-linked indicators (DLIs), with DLI 6 relating to gender and citizen engagement (USD 4.5 million allocation). This report on citizen engagement and gender for period July 8, 2018 through July 7, 2019 in priority areas identified under program and the summary of the customer satisfaction survey is in line with the commitments under DLR 6.2. 


1.  Gender

2.1 Key Actions on Gender Equality at EEU


EEU’s Women, Children and Youth Affairs Directorate (WCYAD) planned the following activities for July   2018 – July 2019.Progresses updates of the above listed activities are detailed in greater detail below.

2.1.1. Increasing Women in STEM.

2.1.2. Training and capacity development activities for EEU staff

2.1.3. GBV/SH prevention and response.

2.1.4 Establishment of childcare services in EEU

2.1.5 Mentoring and Evaluation

According to the HR data of EEU, in June 2018, the total number of EEU employees are14174, out of this the number of women employees composed of 3220 (22%). There is total number of 1692 managers at junior, mid, and senior levels and the number of women are 156 (9.27%).  To improve this situation and increase the number of women employees and management staff, the WCYADwas bargaining with EEU management and Labor Union to integrate Affirmative Action provisions in EEU staff collective agreement. The management of EEU has fully accepted the integration of affirmative action provision. The Labor Union has not yet fully accepted the affirmative action provision. Due to this, affirmative action provision has not yet part of the collective agreement. The WCYAD is working with the Gender Steering Committee (GST) and Gender Technical Committee (GTC) to ensure the integration of affirmative action in the collective agreement. WCYAD is pushing forward for the implementation of affirmative action.

2.1.2. Implementation of institutional gender mainstreaming activities.

Leadership commitment and ownership of gender mainstreaming activities at all level is mandatory for effective institutional gender mainstreaming activities. Taking this into consideration established GSC and GTC.

The GSC includes senior management of EEU and is chaired by the CEO and is meant to meet on a quarterly basis. GSC has the mandate to make high level decisions, provide oversight and strategic guidance on implementing gender mainstreaming activities at EEU. The GTC includes selected departments and units’ heads that are mainly responsible to mainstream gender in EEU system and Labor Union representative. GTC has a meeting on monthly basis and it has a mandate to provide technical support to WCYAD throughout the process of implementing all gendermainstreaming activities of EEU.

WCYAD is closely working and hierarchically reporting to government ministry offices. They are: Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity (MoWIE) and Ministry of Women and Children Affairs (MoWCA).  WCYAD is attending different meetings, workshops and experience sharing events organized by MoWCA and MoWIE which it has used learning and shared experiences as an input for institutional gender mainstreaming activities. In addition, WCYAD is also closely working with similar utility service providers like Ethio-telecom to share best experiences towards institutional gender mainstreaming activities.

Due to its location and limited capacity, the WCYAD at the head office is working at the central level in Addis but can’t stretch itself for day to day gender mainstreaming activities of EEU’s 11 regional bureaus. To resolve this limitation, gender Experts are assigned in all regions.

Participation and support of women staff in EEU in terms of effectively mainstreaming gender is essential. EEU’s women forum at the head office in this regard is a driving force to voice the needs and interests of EEU women staff. To maintain strong gender mainstreaming supportive system in all EEU regions, on top of the women forum at the head office, in EFY 2011 regional women forum at 11 regions of EEU has been established. The women forum is now actively working in all regions.

2.1.1. Increasing Women in STEM.

  • Recently, EEU recruited 219 new women engineers in all EEU regions. They were given a Chance according to their preferences As part of affirmative action, to increase the number of women employees, mainly women technical staff, the management of EEU approved 30% quota system for women applicants during new recruitment and promotion of internal posts as of May 2017. EEU HR department is ensuring the implementation of 30% quota system during recruitment and promotion at all levels. WCYAD is also overseeing effective implementation of the quota system in all regions.
  • The road map is designed to increase women employees in STEM.

2.1.2. Training and capacity development activities for EEU staff.


To increase the number of women in leadership and decision making positions, within the collective agreement of EEU management staff, affirmative action provision had been integrated and implementation is underway.

Training and capacity development activities for EEU staff

  • A Ten days gender mainstreaming and leadership training has also been given in Hawasa and Adamafor 82 female senior and middle level managers from August 22, 2018 – September 7,2018.
  • TOT has been given for 3 WCYAD Experts in Addis abeba EMI for 2 weeks. One expert in diredewa and 1 expert for 5 days on anti corapetion in addis abeba.
  • A half day awareness creation session has been conducted on meter reading processfor 223 women and 553 men meter readers and customer service managers in Addis Ababa, Jigjig, Bahir Dar, Harer, Diredewa, Jima, wereta, Dangila, Agaro, AlemKetema, Debrebirehan.
  • During the celebration of march 8 the issue of women Empowerment 2000 Magazine, 50 posters and 50 stickers and developed and distributed for all EEU offices. In addition to this on the celebration in Addis Ababa, a half day create awareness is given on the issue Hepatitis B and C and Women’s Right to 400 participants. On the other hand have been given recognition and reward for 26 best performer women technicians, meter readers and forum members out of 11 regions.
  • The WCYAD 150 T-shirts distributed for Great run participantes to take part in a 5KM women’s race under the motto “I LEAD”.
  • A 30% discount has been facilitated in Africa Beza College and 35women employees from headquarter and 2 region are attending diploma and degree through extension program.
  • Training materials on situational leadership and gender mainstreaming have been developed.
  • 50Women Employees who are working in different regions of EEU request on the form of complain about promotion and transfer. The nature of the complaints was in appropriate demotions, unlawful transfers and unfair promotion processes. About 38 of the complaints were addressed after discussing with concerned departments and units. 5 are on the processes and the rest 8 are not acceptable.

2.1.3. GBV prevention and response.


  • On Prevention and Response to GBV/SH had conducted with institutional review with regard to GBV/SH. The institutional review indicated that different kinds of SH are prevalent in EEU. It also confirmed the gaps in terms of understanding about GBV/SH, unavailability of SH Policy, Code of Conduct and GRM which is an obstacle to address the issue in consistent and effective manner. Following the gaps identification, SH Policy, Code of Conduct and GRM were prepared with the aim of capacitating EEU to prevent and respond to GBV/SH. Furthermore, trainings on GBV/SH prevention and response were provided to a total of 250 (126 Female and 123 Male) management and technical staff to create favorable condition for the endorsement, functionality and sustainability of the initiative.
  • GBV/ SH TOT have been given for 38 women and 4 male employees of EEU.
  • Training materials on GBV/SH have been developed.
  • The GRM trouble shooting mechanism tested to check out the application of the document.
  • To create awareness for EEU employees, contractors and customers about GBV/SH The communication material such as 3000 broacher,3000 flayer and 3000 poster are developed and distributed for headquarter and 11 regional offices.

2.1.4 Establishment of childcare services in EEU

  • To establish childcare for headed quarter and 11 regional offices the assessment is done. Among the needed material 7 items are ordered in EEU mechanical workshop and to perches the remaining the work is started through EEU procurement directorate.
  • All regions are started to facilitate child care offices. And WCYAD are following up the process.

2.1.5 Monitoring and Evaluation.

  • About the participation and benefits of women Employees by preparing checklist and supervision work is done in different EEU offices. That is under  Addis Abeba region on Eastern A.A district, western A.A district and Southern A.A district.  under oromiya region Adama,and Jimma district, Agaro service centers. under Amhara region Dangila ,wereta and Alem ketama service centers, debrebirhan district. And also Mekele , Harer, Diredawa, Jigjiga regions.

Challenges faced during implementation


  • In 11 regional offices our directorate asked a staff who are expected to give the position in Managerial level for women and children affairs activities. But the staff plan includes one expert in each regional office Due to this, adequate attention for women and children affairs activities is not yet given. Expected deliverables are not yet met and this situation became very challenging for WCYAD.
  • Limited capacity of WCYAD to deliver all planned activities due to the lack of adequately qualified staff that were trained on gender.
  • To strengthenWCYAD and enhance its support, an internal structural adjustment has been requested. The idea is to assign two team leaders who can lead activities of women affairs and children/youth affairs separately so that all activities under these two categories can easily be implemented as per the annual plan. However, this request has not been accepted by the management of EEU sothe directorate is facing different challenges to implement planned activities.
  • Delay to assign gender responsible staff in regions so challenges were faced to implement gender mainstreaming activities as expected.
  • Staff reshuffling at the head office and regions including management staff.
  • Limited knowledge and skills of department heads and staff members on gender and energy that contribute to unconscious bias on gender related activities that are expected to be performed across EEU structure.
  • Low commitment of departments and units to collect sex-disaggregated data and report the same that contribute to limited information on gender mainstreaming activities.
  • The WCYAD has very limited control and monitoring on gender related activities that are expected to be performed by other departments at the head office and all regions.
  • Absence of standardized reporting templates on gender related activities that are delivered by other departments at the head office and all regions.
  • Limited commitment and ownership of some of thedepartment heads and staff to mainstream gender across EEU structure.
  • Absence of systematic accountability matrix that ensures department heads and staff members are delivering gender related activities responsibly.
  • The bargaining process of affirmative action provision was taking longer time than expected so different departments had difficulties on implementing affirmative action before its approval by the management.
  • Delay on childcare service establishment at EEU head office and regional cities due to prolonged process.

Next Steps

WCYAD is organizing itself to implement and oversee implementing departments for all activities of year one from the five years’ work program. Main actions being taken outlined below:

  • Follow up on and lead GBV support activities and ensure immediate implementation to address grievances of women employees and create safe working space,
  • Work closely with other departments to start women employees’ capacity development programs like mentorship program, on job trainings and further educational opportunities
  • Sign a memorandum of understanding with universities and colleges to facilitate internships forwomen in STEM and work towards increasing the number of women in STEM in all EEU regions (September2019).
  • Follow up overall capacity development activities that support women employees, mid and top-level women leaders and managers.
  • Follow up with different EEU department on proper utilization of sex-disaggregated data collection and reporting (ongoing).
  • Work closely with GSC, GTC, theLabor Union and other concerned department to ensure integration of affirmative action in EEU staff collective agreement and its effective implementation in EEU structure.
  • Increasing stakeholder’s satisfaction through:
    • Institutionalizing complaint resolution system
    • Increasing women employees’ complaint resolution
  • Improving budget utilization through implemented planned activities in a given fiscal year.
  • Strengthening knowledge transfer through capacity development initiatives across EEU regions.
  • Celebration of youth day with educational program and promote youth empowerment.
  • Celebration of White Ribbon day with educational program to provide safe workplace for women and men employees.
  • Minimizing workplace barriers through:
  • Arranging childcare services
  • Revision of EEU Gender Mainstreaming Policy
  • Strengthening implementation of gender policy, guidelines and procedures
  • Strengthening staff capacity (ongoing):
  • Capacity development of staff members through different trainings.
  • Capacity development trainings for women leaders and decision makers.
  • Arrangement of educational opportunities for women employees and leaders with 50% discount for tuition fee.
  • Increasing women participation and equitable benefit in EEU through:
  • Increasing the number of women employees and women in STEM
  • Increasing the number of women leaders and decision makers
  • Preparing gender mainstreaming training manual to be used internally for capacity development of EEU staff.
  • Opening regional women, children and youth affairs office and ensure assignment of responsible gender staff at mid-leadership level.