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Mining company pushes for more women in extractive industry

BY: Daniel Kenu
Scientists instructing some female students through a laboratory demonstration
Scientists instructing some female students through a laboratory demonstration

Anglogold Ashanti, Obuasi Mine, is rolling out a well-intended policy to achieve gender equality in the industry by encouraging women and girls to pursue science education.

It includes a number of support systems aimed at demystifying the fear associated with the study of the sciences in line with the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal Five (SDG5) to achieve gender equality and to empower women and girls.

International Day

The Senior Sustainability Manager of AGA, Mr Emmanuel Baidoo, announced this at this year’s commemoration of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

The event, the seventh in the series, was under the theme: "Equity, diversity, and Inclusion: Water unites us."

It sought to galvanise a collective action towards recognising the role of women and girls in science, not only as beneficiaries but also as agents of change.

In order to achieve full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls, and further achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, the UN General Assembly declared February 11, as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science in 2015.

Equity

Mr Baidoo said gender equality with emphasis on science was even more critical for societal advancement.

"Over the past decades, the global community has made a lot of effort in inspiring and engaging women and girls in science.

"Yet women and girls continue to be excluded from participating fully in science," he said.

The day was organised in collaboration with the Obuasi Municipal Assembly, the Obuasi Municipal Directorate of Education and the Obuasi Senior High Technical School.

Mr Baidoo said AngloGold Ashanti’s vision had required that it created and maintained an aligned and integrated workplace with an underlying all-inclusive culture based on shared values.

"Our value of leaving communities with a sustainable future, through the promotion of fundamental human rights and contributing to building productive, respectful, and mutually beneficial partnerships, is in sync with our vision and undoubtedly highlights our commitment to promote diversity and inclusion not only at our workplace but also in our communities," he said.

Plan

"We are currently in the process of finalising a new socio-economic development that provides a longer-term social investment, keeping in mind the longer life-of-mine.

"Our new socio-economic development plan will provide for a significant investment in the areas of science, engineering, technology and mathematics (STEM) and especially promoting girls’ participation in these areas,” Mr Baidoo explained.

Bridging the gap

For her part, the Municipal Girls Co-ordinator, Cecilia Mensah, urged girls to be intrinsically motivated to take up STEM related programmes.

"Though there are signs that we are making headway, we still believe that there are gaps which need to be bridged. Girls must not be scared to take up STEM- related courses and professions," she stressed.