Women in the mining sector have been urged to aspire to take up leadership positions in the sector.
The advice was given by the Deputy Chief Executive of the Minerals Commission, Ms Shirley Kyei, during the annual general meeting (AGM) of Women in Ghana, in Accra on Thursday January 27, 2022.
The meeting was themed: “Women in mining: strategic approach to leadership and visibility”.
Women in Mining (WIM) Ghana is an organisation for women who work within the value chain of the mining sector, from upstream to downstream.
It supports women’s advancement in the extractives sector through advocacy, training, mentoring and networking at all levels of engagement.
WIM Ghana was incorporated as a company limited by guarantee in 2015 primarily to serve as an advocacy body for all women working in the mining sector — across the industry, academia and government.
Ms Kyei said the Minerals Commission and women in mining Ghana shared a common interest in promoting the participation of women in the mining industry.
She said women continued to be underrepresented in mining sectors and there was the need to promote and encourage more women to take up leadership roles.
She said there were records to show that in instances where women were in leadership positions and authority, remarkable progress was recorded and they led the way in women empowerment in Ghana.
In the global front, she said countless women personalities had excelled in many fields, demonstrating the importance of women in nation-building and development.
Ms Kyei said although governments around the world had been trying to address the issue of gender inequality and discrimination against women, women continued to lag behind in decision-making and leadership positions in many sectors.
Those dynamics, she said, pertained in the mining sector which was faced with the challenges of under-representation of women.
“As a regulator of the sector, the mining commission recognises the challenges and is ready to address it,” she said.
She urged the WIM Ghana to step up the campaign to encourage young girls to venture into the study of science, engineering, mathematics and technology so they could work in the mining sector.
The President of WIM, Dr Georgette B. Sakyi-Addo, urged women in the mining sector to come together to have one voice and a common front to fight for their advancement.
She also urged members of WIM Ghana to take up leadership positions in their various organisations and support each other.
WIM Ghana, she said, sought to attract more women into the industry and retain those already working in the sector.
“We also find that not enough women are in executive and managerial positions in the industry, and so we continue to seek ways to address that imbalance as well because it influences what happens at the lower levels of organisations in the industry,” she said.
An Advisor of WIM Ghana, Ms Bwshiratu Kamal, said the mining sector was bedevilled with a number of challenges such as lack of social protection for some employees in the sector, poor adherence to international standards that protect employees, among others.
“Some of the jobs created in the sector are not decent and people are exposed to all sorts of abuse and exploitation with women being the worst hit. Women are vulnerable and they are in the majority when it comes to those exploited and abused in the sector,” she said.
Women-led organisations, she said, were in a better position to facilitate processes and advocate better legal reforms, policies and legislations and improved systems and structures that protect, promote and guarantee the rights of women and other vulnerable groups within the value chain of the sector.
CREDIT: GRAPHIC ONLINE