The co-Head of Women in Mining (WIM) and Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM), Mrs Rosemary Okla, has underscored the need to promote diversification of development minerals to encourage women in the mining sector.
She explained that development minerals such as clay, limestone among others were fast-tracking growth and the demand for them was high, hence the need to pay attention to those minerals to foster development.
“Now clay and these development minerals are hot cakes because there is a demand for them as compared to gold. The gold is there but the demand for the development mineral is really rising. We are, therefore, encouraging the women to diversify,” she said.
At a WIM workshop on July 16 in Accra, Mrs Okla stated that despite the fast growth of these development minerals, the benefits derived from them was not as huge as gold and as such, much effort must be put in place to keep them thriving.
“And so it is good they also diversify because with these minerals, the benefits derived was not as huge as gold and that one, a lot of people are not really aware of it,” she stated.
She, however, called on the government to support her outfit to promote diversification.
She also appealed for some incentives for women in acquiring licences to promote their existence in the sector.
A Community Development Officer at Solidaridad Network, Ms Ama Gyan, stated that women had not been positioned well in the mining sector due to lack of documentation and data-driven records.
She said it was difficult for women to show what they delivered since most of the jobs they did were informal, hence the need for record keeping and documentation to position women on the pedestal.
“It is difficult for women to show what they do - what they do they do it informally - so it is difficult to show that this is what a woman has done, especially when you take women in the informal sector. We do so much but it is not shown,” she said.
Ms Gyan stated that to be able to attract investors and financial institutions to support women in the sector, there was the need for traceable documents and records to serve as a reference point for investors.
“In case we are looking for investment, the financial institutions will not be looking at word of mouth but will look for a document and look out for traceable documents and records you have. That is what the financial institutions will take into consideration as to whether to assist you or support you in your business,” she added.
She pledged her outfit’s support to educate and encourage women to re-position themselves in helping to bridge the gender gap in the sector.
Ms Gyan stressed the need for trainings and workshops to serve as an avenue for networking and to strengthen relationships within the sector.
She added that the training would provide the opportunity for networking and create a link for partnership, adding that her outfit would keep on encouraging women to diversify into other sectors.
“We need to be strengthened with training, and we need funding because now we are encouraging women to diversify into other businesses,” she said.