Women in mining seek dedicated funds for expansion, Niger govt suspends mining activities, Small scale miners to launch

Women in mining seek dedicated funds for expansion

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Women in Mining in Nigeria (WIM), an umbrella body for women, who are into mining activities, on Thursday, called for a dedicated fund accessible to women in the mining industry for the expansion of their ventures.

Such a dedicated fund, WIM argued, would be channelled to the purchase of equipment financing, mines development, production, infrastructure, exploration and capacity building under section 34 of the Solid Minerals Development Fund established by the Mineral and Mining Act 2007.

The President of Women in Mining in Nigeria, Janet Adeyemi, made the demand while speaking at a Project Retreat/Review Meeting of the association which was held in Benin, Edo State capital.

Adeyemi, who was represented at the occasion by Ambassador Ijeoma Bristol, noted that Edo State is blessed with so many mineral resources, such as limestone, granite, gold, sand among others, adding that Women in mining’s major concern is on gender mainstreaming.

She listed finance and inability to lease equipment as the major handicaps that had stemmed from the work members of the association do.

“Some others things are the levies placed on women by the tippers unions which is higher than the one placed on the men counterpart. So these are some of the constraints we need to address positively.

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“There is also huge collateral needed for loan, discrimination, and gender-based violence but in all of this, one thing that we need to emphasize is that women who are involved in economic activities are our mothers, wives and sisters and the work we are doing is not to compete with the men but to also support the men for our family.

“That is one message that we really need the men to understand is that we are really trying to make the home better and progress

“Another limitation is lack of access to funds, tax disparity and discrimination being faced by women and these are limitations that we need to address.

“These were brought out from the research with the assistance of the Fourth Foundation and some of the things that were recommended that need to be done are the creation of a stakeholders forum in Edo State where discussion and other gender issues can be discussed and raise profile of women in the mining sector”.

She urged Women in mining to address the lack of voice and challenges being faced by women in the sector, just as she called on the government to invest in skill acquisition and empowerment of women’s rights from colleges to boost women’s participation in mining.

She announced the introduction of some novel initiatives such as girls for mining clubs in institutions to create awareness and accomplish gender inclusiveness and leadership in future mentoring.

“More recently women in mining in Nigeria has entered into a partnership with Human Right Commission to address gender and child right abuses in mining host communities.

“The association has come up a mobile application that incidents in the host community would be streamed live and reported immediately to the human right commission for follow-up. There is anonymous and offline reporting so that we have done have backlash”, the President disclosed.

She condemned the enforced closure of mines pit, saying women were major victims of the hazards in collapsed mines, as happened in Ebonyi’s collapsed mines.

Adeyemi further disclosed that recently, Women in Mining in Edo State supported by a fourth foundation has brought to light many personal issues in the mining sector and has proffered many suggestions that cannot only support gender equality but provide income and greater economic enhancement for women that benefits the family, community and the society at large.

Speaking to journalists afterwards, Edo State Coordinator of WIM, Nomamidobo Jennifer, said the meeting was to sensitise the women in the mining sector that they could also do well in the sector as the men.

“We are facing a lot of challenges because the men will look at us and be telling us that we can’t break rock, we can’t climb hills but because of this programme, we have known that we can do what men can do.

“Because of this programme, today we have our women driving tippers and are doing well. We face security challenges because our women have been kidnapped while doing their job, Adeyemi lamented.

She expressed optimism that the government would later in future realise that the protection of women is a huge responsibility.

“I encourage women to join the mining sector because, despite the security challenges, one-day government would know we are their responsibility,” Adeyemi added.

 


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