Some experts have linked the negative impact of mining on Ghanaian women, especially in mining communities, to the poor and porous mining regulations which discriminate against women and women’s interests in the country.
Speaking to Xinhua here after a day’s stakeholder engagement on responsible mining and the role of women, an expert in mineral and mining law Augustine Niber called for a review of the regulatory regime for the sector.
“Our policies, including the Minerals and Mining Act, its amendment and subsidiary regulations have all failed to recognize that women are part of the society,” Niber said.
Meanwhile, based on Ghana’s 2010 population census figures, Ghanaian women outnumber their male counterparts.
Niber also decried the practice of having just two women among 12 men on the governing boards of the major mining regulatory institutions such as the minerals commission and the environmental protection agency.
The session organized by a responsible mining advocacy organization, WACAM, aimed at drawing attention to the plights of women in mining communities.
Although women bore the brunt of land loss in the mining communities, the dean of the school of development studies at the University of Cape Coast Emmanuel Tenkorang told Xinhua that women received very little or no compensation at all.
“Once communities lose farming lands, women suffer most, because they are mostly concerned with food cultivation, while their men engage in cash-crop farming,” he said.
Some of the other sources of pressure for women in mining communities are water pollution, the outbreak of certain air-borne diseases, distance to look for water, and even food shortage.
“We do not benefit much from compensation, our husbands receive the bulk sum and give us something little,” the female representative for the Odumasi electoral area in the Prestea- Huni-Valley District Assembly, Joana Akosua Manu said.
She called for an end to surface mining, since, that was a major source of the woes of communities in her area.
In spite of the loopholes in the regulatory regime for the mining sector, the programs officer in charge of governance at Women in law and development in Africa (WiLDAF) Esinam Ahiadorme said the law on human rights should be applied since most of the issues are related to the rights of the women and their communities. Enditem