Dr Georgette Sakyi-Addo, President, Women in Mining-Ghana (WIM-Ghana),has called for collaboration and partnership amongst women in the mining sector to enhance advocacy for their inclusion in decision making in the sector.
She underscored the need for women to be under one umbrella in advocacy, saying: ” There is strength in numbers”.
Dr Sakyi-Addo made the call at a hybrid of an in-person and online Third Sub Regional Quarterly Review Meeting organised by WIM-Ghana in collaboration with the Women in Mining West Africa (WIMOWA) for the members in the Sub-region as part of activities under the Gender Mainstreaming Project (GMP) supported by the Ford Foundation.
The Quarterly event provided a platform for women groups within the sub-region to share ideas, experiences, and good practices and to discuss the way forward to achieve gender inclusion in the geo-extractive sector.
Dr Sakyi-Addo said advocacy, especially in the area of governance required strong network to be able to push for the different groups of women they represented.
She said knowledge around mining regulations and governance, and emerging issues, including renewable energy, circular economy, green economy and new industry standards and requirements were critical.
The President noted that continuous learning and sharing of knowledge as well as capacity upgrade with their communities would help them to grow their horizons together.
“We need to bring along our young women to ensure that there is a pipeline of leadership to pursue the vision for the long run,” she said.
Dr Sakyi-Addo called on all miners to mine responsibly to protect lands and water bodies.
Madam Annick Amandine B.S. Agbadje, a Member of WIM in Benin, said despite many codes with non discriminatory clauses, women continued to be discriminated against, confronted with restrictions and were victims of sexual harassment at their workplaces.
She advocated for the establishment of Gender Desks and Units to help in the integration of gender responsive approaches, resulting in the promotion of equality and reinforce the institutionalisation of gender at all levels of the sector.
Dr Rosaline Atefeinam Abalo, a Member of WIM in Togo, said majority of women in artisanal mining, which was female dominated in Togo, were operating illegally with only 34 per cent of them paid.
She said they had collaborated with the Gender and Ministry for Primary and Secondary Education in Togo to ensure that courses in mining were taught in schools, and girls were encouraged to consider careers in the mining sector.
Madam Christine Logbo Kossi, a Member of WIM, in Cote D’Ivoire, said despite the similar challenges confronting women in the mining sector, through advocacy, there had been recruitment of many women engineers in the Ministry of Mines, Cote D’Ivoire, with two of them promoted to management positions.
She said there had been an increase in the number of women entrepreneurs and licensed holders from two to seven in Cote D’Ivoire.
Madam Sayon Berete, a Member of WIM in Guinea, said since 2018 till date, they had ensured that women benefitted in the mining sector.
Mrs Victoria Adobea Guerrieri, National Women’s Coordinator, Artisanal Small-Scale Women in Mining (ASWiM), called for minable lands for women so they could work and contribute to the socio-economic development of the nation.
She appealed for support, including financial, capacity building and empowerment of women to be able to work effectively in the mining sector.
Madam Aida Marie Tamboura, Coordinator, WIMOWA, called on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to join the conversation of promoting gender equality in the mining sector.