Govt urged to promote women, girls role in mining
Female members of the Ghana Mineworkers’ Union (GMWU) have called for a lasting change in government legislation and industry initiatives that promote diversity and pay equity.
Such regulations, the union said, must promote more investment in education for women and girls in mining disciplines.
The National Women’s Committee Chairperson of the Ghana Mineworkers’ Union, Florence Euphemia Nkrumah, made the call when the union organised its 7th National Women’s Conference in Accra on Monday.
She said women's participation at all levels of mining organisations should be fostered through family-friendly policies, anti-discrimination mechanisms, mentoring programmes and alliance with male colleagues.
Consequently, Ms Nkrumah challenged and called for a reform in the old boys' club cultures, saying: “Women workers should be safe, valued and have clear pathways to rise into leadership roles.”
She said as the mining sector embraces renewable energy, automation and sustainability, attracting more women would enhance innovation and community engagement, adding: “By excluding women, the mining companies do themselves a disservice.”
The event was held on the theme “Building a Resilient Gender Inclusive Mining Sector in a Rapidly Changing World of Work: The Role of Women.”
It discussed a multifaceted approach that centres on the empowerment and inclusion of women in mining while ensuring the sector's long-term resilience in the face of global transformations.
It also aimed to encourage open dialogue, exchange of ideas and the forging of partnerships that would enable them to collectively pave the way forward and work together to find innovative ideas in fulfilling their purpose.
The Gender Legal Officer of the Minerals Commission, Fafanyo Kukubor Amegavi, who was the guest speaker, advised women in the mining sector to collaborate with diverse stakeholders to empower them to extend their impact beyond the mining sector.
Such partnerships, she added, would enable women to influence industry practices, from fostering environmental sustainability to championing labour rights.
“Women's contributions transcend the confines of the mining sector, permeating broader societal progress and ensuring that mining practices adhere to ethical, sustainable and globally expected standards for corporate responsibility,” she said.
Mrs Amegavi also urged the women to explore possible solutions and strategies to lay the foundation for a more gender-inclusive mining sector, including technological adaptation, continued learning and development, gender equality and diversity policies, and visibility and recognition.
The National Chairman of GMWU, Kwarko Mensah-Gyakari, urged women to participate and take a keen interest in local branch elections because they are as capable as men.
He said although the mining sector was male-dominated, women should pick up every opportunity given to them and participate in any of the elections, as most of the activities were about community development, which most women were naturally good at.
The second Vice-Chairperson of GMWU, Philomena Aba Sampson, advised women to reposition themselves to confront the new normal and re-direct their energy to strengthen a collective voice to partner with men to address the knowledge gap.
“That would help to improve the progress in providing quality jobs, reduce constraints and ensure a career progression as well as access to gender parity in all facets,” she added.