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Business News of Saturday, 10 October 2015

Source: GNA

Group calls for representation in Minerals Commission

Women in Mining, an advocacy group that encourages and provides a strong network for women in the industry has called for a fair representation in the Minerals Commission (MC).

This they argued would create a strong visibility, gender parity whiles scaling up access to information and the involvement in decision-making of the women, who form a critical mass in increasing profit and productivity in the mining sector.

Mrs Amina Tahiru, Managing Director, Zenon Investment Limited, made the call on Friday at a breakfast meeting in Accra which brought together women in the sector and officials from the Australian High Commission.

She explained that the group was not requesting for managerial roles in the MC but are advocating for recognition, fairness and equity in representation so as not to be left behind in the acquisition of knowledge to make them assertive in fighting for concessionary rights, the absence of which is grossly unhelpful to growth of that industry.

“We don’t need managerial roles in the Minerals Commission, but we just need a fair representation to be abreast with what concerns us and our concession,” she said.

Mrs Tahiru urged young women to have strong knowledge of entrepreneurial skills as that would help build them to sell themselves to the sector. .

Reading a speech on behalf Madam Natasha Stott Despoja, Australian Ambassador of Women and Girls, Madam Zabeta Moutafis, First Secretary, Australian High Commission, noted that there was an extensive gender inequality in the industry which was detrimental to the country’s economy.

She said the absence of women in the sector reduces competition, profit and productivity especially when women were more competent and capable of creating a platform relevant to the industry.

Madam Moutafis therefore called for the empowerment of women and girls saying “the empowerment and involvement of women is a central focus that will help develop new ideas and practical backbone for the industry,” she said.

She called for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls and advised that there should be an extensive women participation in decision-making and leadership.

Ms Barbara Serwaah Asamoah, Deputy Minister of Land and Natural Resources, called for a collaborative and conscious effort that would help push women into the mining sector.

She also urged the Women in Mining to encourage more women to get involved in the industry’s work as they were capable of making the performances in the industry great through their knowledge and expertise.

“Sensitize young women who desire to be in this sector to come on board, be each other’s assistant, share your knowledge and let your practical knowledge reflect in your works,” she advised.

Ms Asamoah lauded the women for the initiative that aimed at mentoring more women with the skills to venture into the industry.

She pledged of the Ministry’s support to the women in mining and encouraged them to continue help develop the industry.

The objective of the meeting was to create a forum to brainstorm, create awareness, discuss the welfare of members as well as encourage women to have a strong presence in the mining industry

Topics discussed included “practical steps for gender balance in the industry,” “bridging the gaps between academia”, industry and policy and “the role of women in the mining sector”.