The Non-governmental Gender Organizations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) has called on the Southern African Development Committee (SADC) Heads of State to work towards making mining favourable for women.
The NGO has called on the regional body to address the various exploitative practices in the sector which remains male dominated leaving out the women who face the brunt of the negative effects of the industry.
NGOCC Executive Director, Anne Mbewe-Anamela bemoaned the negative effects of many vices that women are forced to engage in because of being left out of the mining sector.
“Mining is male dominated with most jobs going to men. So, women do not directly benefit from the jobs that are created. Added to that, because many women do not own land whenever there are displacements, compensation for displacement goes to the men. Women-headed households hardly ever receive compensation because of the lack of ownership,” Ms Anamela said.
The NGO was speaking at the CSO-organised SADC People’s Summit in Kinshasa DRC, which was held alongside the SADC Heads of State Summit from 16th to 18th August 2022 under the theme “Challenging Extractivism and Taking Ownership of Our Resources for People Centred Development” attracting participants from Angola, Botswana, DR Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
She stated that mining sector, labour can be short-lived in nature, so the transitioning of labour causes higher levels of prostitution, teenage pregnancies as well as risks of STDs including HIV.
Ms Anamela noted that Communities when displaced by mining companies are sometimes moved from where they had access to land and grew their own food, to where there is none and this causes family food insecurity and compromises nutrition.
“When men leave the homes for jobs in the mines it takes away productive labour from the household especially in farming and hence increases the burden on women to fill in the gap and could reduce the levels of produce,” she added.
And Zambia Alliance for Women (ZAW), Executive Director Edah Chimya called for a clear mineral sharing framework that will see the disadvantage communities, majority being women, benefit equitably in the mining sector.
Ms Chimya said that there is a need for SADC Governments to have a clear mineral revenue sharing mechanism that will ensure that Mine hosting communities have a share of the revenue generated from their area.
“It is very critical for women to be involved in deciding what that money is used for, as it is, women are nowhere near decision making. Most of the revenue is lost to corruption. It lands in the hands of the privileged few,” she said.
Ms Chimya noted that this can be achieved by developing a legal framework around the Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). It is time for women to stand up and reclaim ownership of resources towards positive economic transformation of their countries.
Meanwhile, the Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) Programmes Officer for Social, Economic Justice and Accountable Government, Andisen Zulu called for responsible mining anchored on human rights.
“As CCZ, we are calling for responsible mining where basic human rights are considered. Basically, you find violations of women’s rights are manifested when there are displacements to accommodate mining activities,’ Mr Zulu stated.
He explained that these displacements cause disunity in families through disruption of livelihood and culture.
Mr Zulu called on the SADC leaders to employ responsible mining who respects all stakeholders, minimizes and takes account of its environmental impact and prioritizes a fair. division of economic and financial benefits especially the vulnerable women and children.
Fuseke with that woke women agenda from the west. Poverty does not choose based on what is in the middle of someone’s legs.
Mwebantu it is Monday and I am still hangover. Iye the people of kabushi don’t play. These guys got me drunk. Vote lusambo for continued development in kabushi
Mining has been a curse to Africa. Small mines (artisanal mining) holds the key to local participation in the extractive industry.
In terms of land empowerment fro women I think Zambia is doing better as can be seen whenever plots are advertised. 30% allocation is reserved for women and they’re still allowed to compete with men in the remaining 70%. Perhaps what they should talk about are the unfair conditions. Many women and men get disadvantaged when they’re requested to provide bank statements as proof of capacity to develop the land. As for the mining sector, I can’t follow their point of argument although it seems it’s about adequate compensation for those that get displaced. Again Zambia has got good policies in place but the problem is with those charged with responsibility to negotiate. They’re the the greedy brainless idyotts
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