From Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja

The Minerals and Miners Center have called on African countries to
Make mining laws and economic policies gender-inclusive.

The Director Dr Comfort Asokoro – Ogaji made this call at a women’s miners meeting to mark International Women’s Day

She emphasized on the need for safety training at the mining communities accross Nigeria, expressing shock and sadness at the risky manner the women miners in Kogi State seek means of livelihood.

The need to feed and pay the meagre school fees have pushed rural women miners to the mining pits unprepared, unguarded and exposed to extortion and poor working conditions.

Dr Asokoro further called on women to support other women in the field by providing mentorship opportunities and most especially safety trainings at the grassroots.

Related News

She added that women form the majority workforce in many states in Nigeria and should get the attention required in policy formulation processes.

Amongst key recommendations discussed at the meeting, MMC called on countries in Africa to Make mining laws and economic policies gender-inclusive continuously. The need to advance women’s social protection at the mine and home has also become very urgent. Emphasis was also placed on the need to account for gendered differences in occupational health and safety efforts at mine sites.

​Capacity building is key to growth. African women are urged to build capacities in their areas of interest in the commodity value chain. Women in the sector should strive for the top through capacity building and change their mindsets to think growth and expansion in the commodity value chain and relevant extension services.

A key recommendation was that African women should collaborate and consider having corporate partnerships for solid minerals processing and export corporations being a capital intensive venture.

Looking in the Academia angle, Universities should collaborate with the MMC to create centres of excellence across the continent for innovations and capacity building. ”

The climax of the event was the presentation of a “Gold Saving Award” to the Kogi Women Miners Welfare Association Leader Mrs Janet Ahiaba for her service to humanity regarding the Kogi women miners and for depositing her car at the hospital for the women who survived the accident to get treated.

In her acceptance speech, Mrs Ahiaba expressed appreciation for the award and promised to do more.