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ACEP calls for women’s participation in oil, gas sector

BY: Gifty Owusu Kwarteng
Mr Benjamin Boakye
Mr Benjamin Boakye

The Executive Director of the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), Mr Benjamin Boakye, has called for a policy framework that will increase the participation of women in the oil and gas industry.

That, he said, would help break the male dominance in the sector, afford women the opportunity to explore available opportunities and promote gender equality in the sector.

“There is the need for women’s involvement. If you check the oil and gas industry, it has been a men’s game, and more men are participating. Therefore, there is the need to take conscious effort to encourage women to participate in the industry,” he said at the fourth Africa Oil Governance summit in Accra on November 13.

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He said it was unfortunate that only 22 per cent of women were involved in the industry due to lack of satisfaction for the job, ranking after the construction industry with respect to low patronage of women in industry.

“In our context, you see low women’s participation in the industry. Globally, it is known that the oil industry is next to the construction industry in terms of low participation of women. Therefore, some deliberate policies and efforts should be put in place to encourage women’s participation so that we can have a fair balance of both genders,” he said.

Increased women’s participation, he said, would help bridge the gender gap in order to promote gender equality in the sector.

The summit, organised by ACEP, was on the theme, “harnessing the potential of local content for economic growth and inclusive development.”

Persons with disability

Mr Boakye also stressed that people with disability (PWD) must be given the opportunity to be involved in the industry.

He said there should be deliberate efforts to involve them in discussions on the sector as part of measures to enhance the potential of harnessing natural resources for development.

“People with disability have not been part of the discussions for a very long time. It is high time we encouraged and educated them on the need to know what is happening in the industry,” he added.

Mr Boakye noted that the country had made strides in pursuing transparency in the sector and commended the government for this feat.

He, however, tasked other African countries to follow suit in order to ensure that oil blocks were tracked and duly awarded.