Int’l Women’s Day: End the bias against women in mining sector

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The Center for Social Impact Studies (CeSIS) has congratulated all women on the occasion of International Women’s Day for their immense social, economic, cultural and political contribution towards the development of Ghana.

In line with this year’s theme: ‘Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow’ with the associated slogan ‘Break the Bias’, CeSIS has highlighted the unequal burden that women at all levels carry in the mining sector.

CeSIS believes women in mining communities shoulder the biggest burden of the negative impacts of mining from being deprived of their livelihoods, trekking for miles to fetch water and food for the family (because water bodies have been polluted) in addition to catering to the needs of children and the aged in the society.

These responsibilities make it difficult for them to move to places in search of better livelihood opportunities.

“Women who work for multinational mining companies also face the glaring discrimination of being paid less than their male counterparts for the same work done.

“Such women are also less likely to climb to the top of the corporate ladder as compared to their male colleagues. Finally, women in the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector also encounter diverse forms of discrimination including access to mineral concessions,” part of a statement signed by the Executive Director, Robert Ali Tanti read.

CeSIS argues that without gender equality today, a sustainable future and an equal future remain beyond reach in the extractive sector.

They have, therefore, called on government to deliberately adopt strategies to attract, retain and encourage women to actively get involved in the management of natural resources in Ghana.

“As a show of this commitment, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources should prioritise women in artisanal and small-mining (ASM) in the allocation of concessions for the community mining initiative

“It is regrettable that in spite of their immense contribution to artisanal mining particularly, women have largely remained invisible in the ASM sector,” it added.

They have further appealed to mining companies to provide equal opportunities to women and men regarding conditions of service and take steps to mitigate potential systems, policies and cultural barriers that women face in the sector.

“For instance, the practice where women miners earn less than their male counterparts should be reviewed immediately. It is discriminatory and against the fundamental human rights of women.

“In addition to this important step, the companies must implement deliberate policies that encourage women to ascend the labour hierarchy and occupy top positions in the sector,” it urged.

The statement concluded “We also call on both government and the mining industry to provide more spaces for women to amplify their voices on the key challenges they face in the industry.

“A world where women enjoy same conditions of service as their male colleagues is possible. A world where women living in mining communities have their livelihoods protected is possible. A world where women in ASM can have access to mineral concessions is possible. We need to take immediate steps to end the bias and build a sustainable future with women.”

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