Zimbabwe: Gender Commission Calls for Mining Reforms

Women inclusion in the mining sector value chain hinges on legal reforms to promote decent work, equality, and gender mainstreaming, says the Zimbabwe Gender Commission.

ZGC, commissioner Naome Chimbetete decried the lack of involvement of women in mining as an indictment on policymakers, as she called for progressive reforms to promote equal opportunities for participation.

Chimbetete was speaking during a Women’s Symposium organized by the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA).

She said women are denied an equal opportunity due to a lack of finances or resources and access to loans.

She said this contextualizes key statistics of the under-representation of women as noted by the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development that 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.

“Underrepresentation of women in not only in mining, even across the board women are continuously overlooked for decision-making positions,” she said.

Chimbetete said the regulatory frameworks and policies must be robust to ensure responsiveness to barriers like the burden of unpaid work, other roles that impact the participation of women.

The Platform on Gender and Extractives, in a declaration of deliberations, noted that women in the extractive industry are a ‘heterogeneous group with varying interests requiring different interventions appropriate to their needs.’