Enact laws to protect women in mining: Zela

THE Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (Zela), a policy and research organisation, has urged the government to enact laws and policies which promote gender parity and protect women in mining.
Zela yesterday said there was need for policies that would enable women to sustain their mining operations to alleviate poverty in different communities.
“Gender mainstreaming across the mining value chain is of paramount importance. The government should enact laws and policies and ensure adherence to Section 17 of the Constitution which calls for gender parity in all spheres.
“The government should support women in mining with the requisite tools to resuscitate their businesses, failure of which could result in some of them failing to continue with their mining operations, thus, plunging them deep into poverty,” Zela said in a statement.
The organisation said that through gender sensitive policies and laws, the government would be in a position to monitor economic rights violations against women in different communities.
Zela further said there was a need for public resources to be allocated in terms of agreed strategic priorities, including ensuring that this addresses issues of gender equality.
According to Zela, the taxation system in the sector should also take into consideration gender issues, at the same time removing the burden on the poor and vulnerable in society.
“Gender responsive budgeting should be integrated into planning and budgeting processes including introducing gender-related strategic objectives into policies and budgets,” Zela said.
The organisation further said the Covid-19 pandemic had negatively affected business, adding that women were the most affected.
The organisation also urged the government to speed up the formalisation of artisanal miners.
“The government should thus ensure it brings finality to the formalisation of artisanal mining. Delays in formalising and regularising artisanal miners continue to affect the sector players whose contribution to the growth and development of Zimbabwe’s economy cannot be overemphasised.”