Zimbabwe’s Gender Commission has declared that the inclusion of women in the mining sector value chain hinges on legal reforms to promote decent work, equality, and gender mainstreaming; hence, the need to reform the system according to ZGC Commissioner, Naome Chimbetete, who called for progressive reforms to promote equal opportunities for participation.
Speaking during a Women’s Symposium organized by the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA), Chimbetete explained that women are denied an equal opportunity due to a lack of finances or resources and access to loans. According to her, this contextualizes key statistics of the under-representation of women in Mineral Development as only 9-15 percent of mining titles are held by women.
“Women involvement in the mining sector is limited in both the formal and informal Statistics from the sector show that 85 and 82 percent of players in the formal mining and informal mining respectively are men, with women relegated to the peripheries of the value chain.
“Lack of consultation by government and even companies are worsening this situation and as a commission, we are pushing for the recognition of women across all sectors,” she said.
Pointing to what reforms should be made, Chimbetete advised that regulatory frameworks and policies must be robust and wide to ensure responsiveness to barriers like the burden of unpaid work and other roles that impact the participation of women.