The EITI is a global standard to promote transparency and accountability in the generation and use of extractive sector revenues.
The move by Ghana to develop a gender strategy for EITI implementation, is therefore, in compliance with a new EITI standard adopted at the 2019 Paris conference, which include provisions on gender for the first time, and aim to improve the participation of women in the management of the extractives sector.
Speaking in an interview, the co-chair of the GhEITI, Dr Steve Manteaw, said all EITI implementing countries were required under the new standard to mainstream gender into the extractive sector, and that should begin from the policy level to the decision making around the use of extractive sector revenues.
He said basically there was a recognition that even women tended to be impacted by the sector as they might need to walk long distances to their farms and in search of water for household chores in times of relocation.
However, their needs were not prioritised when decisions such as how to manage revenues were being taken.
“The benefits of resource extraction accrue largely to government and a lot of the time women are missing around the major decisions.
“In fact, they do not even get the opportunity to participate in that discussion in terms of even trying to influence decisions around expenditures in a way that supports their livelihoods,” he said at a workshop on “Gender Strategy for GhEITI Implementation” at Aburi in the Eastern Region.
Experts have said that ensuring equal participation in decision-making and tracking female employment in the extractive sector was central to understanding how the benefits of the sector were being shared.
According to Dr Manteaw, any such intervention was likely to have unintended consequences.
“A lot of the times the way to mitigate these consequences is through a monitoring and evaluation framework that identifies these unintended consequences very early and devise ways to mitigate.
“We will do some risk analysis and propose some mitigation measures if they occur,” he said.
He said the EITI Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) was devising a strategy to ensure adequate women representation on the committee.
“Because the representation is based on job functions, our strategy is to ensure that where the representative from the said institution is a man then we will have an alternate who is a woman to understudy the main representative,” he added.
The GhEITI Gender Strategy workshop was organised in collaboration with the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) through its West Africa Governance and Economic Sustainability in Extra active Areas (WAGES) project to undertake the analysis with a view to come out with a strategy towards the compliance.
WAGES aims to support sustainable, broad-based and inclusive economic development in Burkina Faso, Ghana and Guinea.
It seeks to contribute to inclusive local economic development by contributing to the creation of jobs, especially for women and youth, reducing poverty and generating revenues for local businesses.
The Field Coordinator, WAGES, Mr Rusmond Anyinah, said they looked forward to seeing a lot of women and youth actively participating in the natural resource governance, and said it could only be done if the operators in the sector were able to understand and operate in a manner that included everyone, especially women.