MUTARE – The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development has urged female miners in Zimbabwe to seek huge opportunities in the mining sector by applying for mining claims.
Addressing a women symposium on extractives organised by Action Aid Zimbabwe in partnership with the Zimbabwe Diamond Allied Workers Union at a local hotel recently, Innocent Murapa from Ministry of Mines Manicaland provincial office lamented over scarcity of women in the sector.
“It is sad to note that there is a small number of women who are applying for mining claims in Manicaland,” he said adding that a paltry 30 % of claim holders in Manicaland were women.
“Of that 30% claim holders,very few are youths. The majority are elderly women,” he said.
During the symposium, the women said they were experiencing a myriad of problems such as victimisation, dispossession of their claims by men and gender based violence among others.
Sharon Mudede a miner said:
“As women we lack investment capital and we do not have the knowledge of the available opportunities. We are segregated.
Mildred Muzanechita from Zivanai Community Trust said the mining sector in Zimbabwe was gender insensitive.
“Women continue to be disadvantaged as they are still discriminated against,” Muzanechita said.
“As women we face occupational segregation and lack access to capital and even for the most basic tools,” Muzanechita said.
Action Aid Zimbabwe Projects Coordinator Darlington Chidarara the organization’s has a sound gesture of eradicating poverty.
“As women in mining in Zimbabwe we promote gender equality and we believe in engaging sustainable mining development,” said Chidarara.
He said the Zimbabwe government must open opportunities for women.
However, Murapa emphasized that the female miners must form mining syndicates and utilise the opportunities available.