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Ghana: Women Association calls for review of mining laws to focus on empowerment of women

‘WACAM Wants Gender Equity Mining Laws’ 28  November 2019

The Wassa Association of Communities Affected by Mining (WACAM) has called for a review of the current mining law to include provisions that empower women in the sector. According to the association, the current laws lack provisions that specifically target the empowerment of women who dominate in the mining value chain. The group thus called for the integration of gender equity in mining laws to ensure women have due rights and benefits in the sector while having equal opportunity to participate in decision-making.

The Executive Director of WACAM, Hannah Owusu Koranteng, in her opening remarks, said a number of research conducted by the association and other bodies had shown that only three per cent of women in the mining sector receive compensation. She said it was important for all stakeholders to support the review of the mining laws and make them gender sensitive. “Women are human beings and need to have rights in the mining sector since they are part of the vulnerable groups that bear the brunt of mining activities,” she said.

Dr. Emmanuel Tenkorang, Dean for School of Development Studies, University of Cape Coast, said the sexually exploitative nature of the male dominated sector also exposed women in most mining communities to prostitution, single parenting, teenage pregnancy, Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), drug abuse, among other social vices. He reiterated the need to protect women's right in the mining sector as they tend to suffer most from health and environmental issues borne out of mining activities.