By Fadzai Munodawafa
Female miners within the Great Dyke seeking equal opportunity in Zimbabwe’s male-dominated mining industry, say gender imbalances continue to prevail within the sector.
Women make up 10% of Zimbabwe’s 535,000 artisanal and small-scale miners, according to a report from the Pact Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based development non-profit organisation. The obstacles they face in the industry are considerable.
Speaking to Great Dyke News 24, a number of women from Zvishavane revealed that gender imbalance continues to prevail in sections of the mining sector with most of them feeling excluded from decision making positions.
They add that they feel gender equality in the extractive sector only exists on paper not practically.
The Mining industry according to some experts is a very complex and specialised field to enter and it requires certain skills for one to succeed.
Mining, unlike other sectors, requires strength, patience, and charisma for one to venture into. It is up to women to fight for recognition as professional who may not be pushed to the fringes of the sector.
According to a study commissioned by the Women Affairs ministry in 2016 with the support of the World Bank, only 30% of the artisanal gold miners in the small-scale mining sector are women, while 80% of the small-scale gold and gemstone claims belong to men.
Women constitute only 7% of the total labour force in the sector.