Women In Mining Ghana sensitises females to address issues of gender inclusion in extractive sector

In 2022, Women In Mning Ghana commissioned the Gender Mapping Research to generate evidence on the gender imbalances existing in the mining sector

Women In Mining (WIM) Ghana has sensitised females in the extractive sector to address issues of gender inclusion in the sector.

The advocacy group in the extractive sector in the country organised a two-day mining policy dialogue in Tarkwa in the Western Region.

The event was to provide a platform for women groups in the extractive industry to share ideas, experiences and good practices as well as discuss the way forward in achieving gender inclusion in the sector.

It had women representatives from the mining industry (artisans, professionals and entrepreneurs), agencies as well as civil society organisations (CSOs) and traditional authorities.

The two-day mining policy dialogue comes on the back of a Gender Mapping Research project commissioned by WIM Ghana in 2022 to generate evidence on the gender imbalances existing in the mining

Speaking at the event, the president of Women in Mining Ghana, Dr Georgette Barnes Sakyi-Addo called for support for women in the industry.

She called on government agencies to find ways of creating awareness about policy opportunities in the mining sector.

“Government agencies need to find simple ways of creating awareness about policy opportunities for women along the mining value chain,” she said.

“Today is not the end but the beginning towards developing a gender-sensitive policy for the mining sector.”

She called for collaboration and partnership amongst women in the sector to enhance advocacy for their inclusion in decision making

She added, “Dialogue is key and we need to continue with these exchanges towards a fair and just management of the sector.”

Dr Sakyi-Addo called on women in the sector to set up a “female community of practice to support ourselves to push this agenda”.

She also called on financial institutions to support women entrepreneurs in the sector.

The municipal chief executive of Tarkwa Nsuem municipal assembly Benjamin Kesse commended WIM for choosing Tarkwa for the event.

“Women in mining are doing marvelously well and we need to have a policy that will recruit more women in the industry” he said.

On his part the project consultant at the University of Missouri USA, Dr Kenneth Bansah presenting the  findings of the ‘Gender Mapping Research’ appealed to stakeholders to join the conversation to promote gender equality in the mining sector.

Kennedy Awuntomah, vice chairman of the human resource committee with the Ghana Chamber of Mines said the organisation over the years has played a significant role in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the mining workforce.

Awuntomah noted that from 2019 to 2022 the chamber has seen a consistent increase in the female working population in the mining industry.

Awuntomah said the chamber is still advocating increased representation of women in the industry, particularly at the managerial level.

He said, “One of its key roles is to engage with stakeholders to ensure policies that are beneficial to the mining industry are enacted and, where passed, advocate their review to stem their adverse impact on the mining industry”.

Awuntomah added, “The Chamber establishes and maintains engagements with relevant stakeholders to positively influence the perception of the public about the industry.”

“At the end of 2022, the total number of persons employed directly by the producing member companies stood at 9,718,” he said.

He emphasised that several measures have been instituted by member companies of the chamber to promote the advancement of females in leadership roles which include proactively recruitment and appointment of women to managerial and executive positions, including to the corporate board levels

According to the executive director of Advocacy Training for Children and Women’s Advancement Rights (ATCWAR), Ekua Ansah-Eshon, authorities within the mining sector should consider promoting women in the small-scale mining sector.

Also speaking at the event, a project officer with the Friends of the Nation, William Dankyi, advocated 30% of the Minerals Development Fund to support women in small-scale mining.

A lecturer at the University of Mines and Technology, Dr Eric Stemm, who presented findings on the role of women in improving workplace health and safety performance, indicated that women in the sector face similar challenges as women in any other technical industry.

“Women face societal, organisational and individual challenges and treatments in moving into the mining industry,” he said.

The mining policy dialogue is supported by the Ford Foundation.

Meanwhile, Women in Mining Ghana will hold its first-ever Ghana annual conference on Friday 9 June 2023 at the Accra International Conference Centre.

Reporting by Tina Moses-Sam in Accra

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