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Decent work for women in ASM is essential

05 August 2021

The Africa Mining Vision (AMV) formally established in 2009 by the African Union (AU) recognizes the contribution of artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) to local economic development and promotes women’s rights and gender justice.

Almost 20 percent of Africa’s gold, and all of the continent’s gemstones, with the exclusion of diamonds, are produced in the ASM sector. Despite its potential contribution to local economic development, ASM firmly remains in the shadow economy: poorly regulated, beyond the reach of markets, and not integrated into national policies and institutions.

The contribution of women to the mining sector is often masked by the dominant profile of men’s roles in the sector. As the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association with the support of Norwegian People’s Aid we are calling on all citizens to promote decent work for women in ASM.

The ASM’s informality has at times exposed women to dangerous working conditions from poor occupational health and safety, use of mercury, limited access to financial services among other challenges which are all hinderances to the decent work agenda. Decent work and economic growth as envisioned by Goal 8 of the sustainable development goals will not be a reality without a collaborative effort to deal with the challenges.

To help close the gaps, Zimbabwe Law Association with the support of Norwegian Peoples Aid has launched the Decent Work for Women in Artisanal and Small-scale mining campaign. The campaign launched on the 16th of July 2021 during the 2021 Gender and Extractives Symposium’s goal is to provide information and garner support from decision-makers and different stakeholders to prompt action that will promote decent work for women in mining.

The campaign endeavours to also ensure that there is enhancement of women’s confidence and capacity to freely share ideas and perspectives and stand for their own rights.  More gender-sensitive workplace environments are essential to ensure women achieve their potential at work.

The campaign which is running under the hashtags #WomenCanDoIt #TipeiwoDariro #LetHerRise will also embrace different media tools to ensure it reaches far and wide.

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