WILDAF, OXFAM, others ask for inclusive training in oil and gas value chain

Participants at a women’s dialogue on the petroleum value chain have proposed that the Petroleum Commission (PC) create a stand- alone gender policy strategy by 2025.

They also urged PC to give 30 per cent of allocation to women under the local content Law by 2025.

Again, they requested that the 10 per cent allocation for women’s development under the Local content Fund should be backed   by legislation.

In addition, the   government should enforce the payment of 10 per cent on contracts awarded to the local content Fund.

There should also be capacity building for women and girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, business compliance, job fairs and entrepreneurship, they added.

The participants, including women advocates, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and journalists at a dialogue, assessed progress made towards increasing women’s active involvement in local content and participation, inclusive business legal framework in the petroleum value chain.

The dialogue was organized by WiLDAF Ghana in collaboration with Friends of Nation (FON) and supported by Oxfam Ghana.

In a presentation, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Cirilo Enterprise Consult, Ms Alice Ama Darko, said achieving inclusivity in the petroleum value chain was in line with goal five of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on gender equality.

She told participants that the SDGs also aimed at ending all forms of discrimination against women and ensuring full participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision making.

Making a case for women’s active participation in the oil and gas sector, Ms Darko mentioned procurement activities to include chase boats, supply of communication equipment, cooling systems, ventilation systems, computers and accessories, supply of natural drinking water, catering services and blasting.

She said, these activities were reserved for indigenous Ghanaian businesses and that, women could   take advantage and become suppliers to the sector.

“These are no-go areas for foreign companies, and that is good news. We have some areas where some indigenous Ghanaian companies can participate in the sector and do some business,” Ms Darko said.

On challenges, she noted there were no known policies or cultural barriers that barred women in the procurement activities in a sector.

However, the consultant reported that, some negative perceptions hindered women from participating in the activities, revealing that, some companies thought women did not have enough capabilities and financial muscles to handle certain jobs.

Ms Darko said, “Even though we have women who have the technical expertise, they think that they just cannot compete with the men. Also, they have lack of interest to engage women in procurement activities despite existing policies. 

“They are reluctant to engage, saying some companies have very nice procurement policies that favour women but, they are   just in documents,” she said.

She argued that “investors and buyers were now demanding inclusivity, stressing that “if you employ more women, your business becomes more attractive to buyers and investors.” 

Ms Darko mentioned that social impact   was becoming more important in procurement processes and was a good boost for companies.

The Chairperson of WiLDAF Ghana, Ms Efua Brown, noted that globally, gender issues had been overlooked, but believed there should be a deliberate policy, short term to long term, for more inclusivity in the oil and gas sector for women to benefit from opportunities in the petroleum value chain.

Source: GNA

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