Two civil society organisations(CSOs) have entreated the government to introduce regulations that will increase women's participation in decision-making in the extractive industry, particularly the mining sector.
The Women in Mining (WIM) Ghana, and the Centre for Extractives and Development Africa (CEDA), both said that such a measure would ultimately ensure mining companies restructured their operations to put more emphasis on gender inclusiveness in all their activities.
The President of WIM, Ghana, Dr Georgette Barnes Sakyi-Addo, and the Executive Director of CEDA, Samuel Osei Bekoe, made the appeal on the sidelines of a day's research validation workshop on enhancing women's participation in extractive sector governance in Accra.
It was organised by WIM, Ghana, with funding from the Ford Foundation under its Gender Mainstreaming Project.
Participants included by policy analysts, researchers, gender activists, surveyors, engineers and mining experts.
Dr Sakyi-Addo said the concerns formed part of findings from two surveys conducted by her outfit which report she said would be disseminated among key actors in the industry after the findings had been validated and updated.
She said a national dialogue would subsequently be held to help build a national consensus on how best to address various issues hindering women's participation in the mining industry.
“We want more young females to take part in the industry and the best way is to encourage them to read courses in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), so that they can take on leadership roles and other technically related offers in the industry,” the president added.
She said retention of women in the mining sector was a challenge and, therefore, urged young women to equally update their knowledge and skills in Artificial Intelligence (AI), remote work and modern methods of mining.
The Executive Director of CEDA, Mr Bekoe, who presented the key findings of the research, said it found out that female participation in large-scale mining in the country was nine per cent as compared to 91 per cent for their male counterparts.
He said the research identified inadequate legislation to increase women's participation in the mining sector as the major challenge facing women in the industry
“Our laws are inadequate to protect women in mining because it is very generalised while in other countries such as South Africa and Norway that have achieved a higher ratio they have given a very straightforward quota-based legislation to ensure that female participation in mining is enhanced in their respective countries.
“There is a need for us to look at the basis of our policies and laws and shape them in accordance with best practices, including having a clear quota system and incentives to increase women's participation in mining,” Mr Bekoe said.
The Special Advisor to the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Benjamin Aryee, said there must be an evidence-based approach to resolving issues affecting women in mining.