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Ghana government outlines measures to attract more women into mining

A Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mrs Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, has outlined measures being pursued by government to attract more women into the mining sector.

Speaking at the Women in Mining CSR workshop in Accra, Mrs Oteng-Gyasi urged companies to team up with government to create innovative public-private partnerships that empower women to participate and thrive in the mining industry.

There were also moves to recruit promising talents and train them in emerging technologies and called on companies to support the development  of talents in education, but it should also act to bridge the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) gender divide;

Mrs Oteng-Gyasi said government was also looking at training to take advantage of the new technologies, adding that the digital revolution was a chance to unlock the economic potential of hundreds of women in Ghana’s mining industry.

In this direction, she said, government will resource George Grant University of Mines and Technology and the other mining related training institutions to train more women in Automotive Technology to take advantage of the fourth industrial revolution, especially Artificial Intelligence and the use of robotics in mining.

Mrs Oteng-Gyasi said government was also looking at benchmarking Gender Equality in the Mining Sector to track progress.

She said one of the key strategies that would be deployed will be the creation of key gender sensitive indicators, specifically designed to reflect changes in the status and roles of men and women in the mining industry.

This included sex disaggregated data on female and male labour force participation rate, opportunities for professional development and satisfaction with support provided, and percentage of females and males with relevant skills set for employment.

There was also the need to provide legal incentives to enhance women’s access to land and licences in the Minerals and Mining Act, which was currently under review.

“Some of the terms of the Act; something like stability and development provisions, because government as much as possible want to improve the fiscal regime in the mining industry to ensure that we obtain optimum revenue from the mining sector. As well, we look at the women and gender issues and how we can support women in the small scale sector especially.”

Meanwhile, statistics show that only seven per cent of women were working in the mining industry. A situation, women in the mining sector have described as discouraging.

Dr Heather Cameron, the Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana, said more commitment was needed to ensure that the indispensable role of women in economic development was realised.

She called for more attention to STEM programme for women to bridge the gap and unleashed the dynamic role of women in the mining sector.

The Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability at Asanko Gold, Mr Frederick Attakumah, said when more women work in the mining sector, it would help unlock the potential of women in mining.

Rev. Dr Joyce Aryee, Former Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, who chaired the workshop, said although some progress had been made towards addressing the imbalance, there was much more left to be done.

The workshop was on the theme: “Ghana’s Mining and Regulatory Framework: Challenges and Opportunities for Enhancing Women Participation.”

Source: GNA

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