Stakeholders in the solid mineral and the mining sector have discussed and proffered solutions to numerous challenges confronting women and children in the extractive industry in the country.
The stakeholders spoke during a three-day capacity-building training for Ekiti women in the sector with the theme ‘ Safeguarding the Rights of Women and Children in the Solid Mineral Sector in Nigeria’ organized by Women in Mining Nigeria (WIMIN) in partnership with the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).
The training was attended by relevant stakeholders including, the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, House of Assembly, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), National Environmental Standards Regulatory and Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN), Women in Mining Ekiti chapter and representatives from the Sand, Gemstone, Gravel, Feldspar and Clay sectors.
In the communique released after the training and signed by National Welfare, Women in Mining, Ambassador Regina Edzuwah and Ekiti State Coordinator, Women in Mining, Dr Yemisi Ajisafe, the stakeholders noted that the training was necessary to ensure gender justice in the industry towards the development of the nation’s economy.
They said, “ The need to mainstream gender and gender justice in the Nigerian solid mineral sector is long overdue. The Nigerian solid mineral industry can bring about a total turnaround of the Nigerian economy if properly developed and managed. With good development and
management practices, it can lead to social development and employment opportunities for many people.
“Participation of women in the development of the sector is very crucial as it
would give them an opportunity to contribute towards socio-economic and industrial development of the country.
“Irrespective of the aforementioned, there has been the exclusion of women in the sector as a result of gender inequalities embedded in the Nigerian laws, culture and social milieu. Although women are vital actors in mining communities and fill a variety of roles, they are also among the most vulnerable to sexual and economic predation.”
“Government should take specific actions for women inclusion and should be implemented through the encouragement of women-led mining cooperative societies, integration into the mining sector and overall empowerment.
“Business organizations should be incorporated into the mining sector to serve as investors who can help reduce the financial burden on women in the extractives sector.”
Speaking on the relevance of the gathering, they said, “the training is to ensure that women are trained and empowered to engage in mineral processing, value addition, and other activities across the value chain. This is in congruency with the plans of the Federal Government to bring an end to the exportation of unprocessed mineral resources, beginning in 2023.
“WIMIN enjoins the general public to join the campaign to diversify Nigeria’s economy from oil to the non-oil sector, as well as to advocate for impartial treatments resulting from gender bias in the Nigerian solid mineral sector.”
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Stakeholders proffer solutions to challenges facing women, children in mining sector