BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
WOMEN’S rights organisations have urged government to investigate reports of abuse of women in mining to promote justice and encourage female participation in the sector.
In a joint statement after a virtual gender and extractives symposium last week, four women organisations said: “We now, therefore, call on the government and relevant stakeholders to provide continuous oversight and monitoring of the activities of mining companies.”
The women’s groups — Women and Law in Southern Africa, Zimbabwe Women’s Microfinance Bank, Zimbabwe Women Resource Centre Network and the Zimbabwe Women in Mining Association — called for protection of women as they conduct mining business.
“The government through the Zimbabwe Gender Commission should monitor the violation of environmental, economic, social and cultural rights of women affected by mining activities in their communities.
“The commission should investigate reports and institute the necessary processes that ensure communities get access to remedy.”
The organisations also applauded the government for joining forces with stakeholders to address machete violence among artisanal miners.
“Although over the years, there have been changes in men’s attitudes towards taking more responsibilities for unpaid care work, promotion of decent work for women in sectors such as the extractives industry is still a challenge which calls for urgent attention.
“Decent work is the only sustainable way out of eradicating poverty while building the necessary social cohesion.
“Therefore, there is a need for continued partnerships and engagement of stakeholders, policymakers, and relevant government ministries to promote decent work for women in the extractive industry.”