BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE
THE Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (Zela) has urged the government to craft laws that promote gender equality in the mining sector.
In a statement, Zela yesterday said: “Gender mainstreaming across the mining value chain is of paramount importance. The government should enact laws and policies and ensure adherence to section 17 of the Constitution which calls for gender parity in all spheres.
“The government should support women in mining with the requisite tools to resuscitate their businesses, failure of which could result in some of them failing to continue with their mining operations, thus, plunging them deep into poverty.”
Zela said the Zimbabwe Gender Commission should investigate reports and institute necessary processes that ensure communities access remedy.
“Public resources should be allocated according to agreed strategic priorities, including ensuring that this addresses gender equality. Gender responsive budgeting should be integrated into planning and budgeting processes including introducing gender-related strategic objectives into policies and budgets,” Zela said.
“The taxation systems should also have gender lens that removes the tax burden on the poorest and vulnerable in society, particularly, women, youths, people with disability and the elderly.”
Zela said the International Labour Organisation estimated that 1,6 billion people employed in the informal economy or nearly half the global workforce could see their livelihoods destroyed due to the continued decline in working hours brought about by COVID-19 lockdowns.
“The government should thus ensure it brings finality to the formalisation of artisanal mining,” Zela said.
“Delays in formalising regularising artisanal miners continue to affect the sector players whose contribution to the growth and development of Zimbabwe’s economy cannot be overemphasised.”