By Lebohang Lesenyeho
Gender dynamics are evolving and the importance of advocating for women inclusion within mining industries must be realized efficiently and adequately. Hence, Macua & Wamua is working tirelessly to encourage more women to enter this field and assist the industry to embrace gender diversity. We are working towards eradicating the misconceptions that mining industry is the man’s world and that women within mining affected communities need to financially rely on men who are in or entering this industry. At the same time, analysing the negative impact that this misconception has towards high rate of cases of GBV.
Macua & Wamua has engaged in series of GBV workshops across the country to capacitate women pertaining remedies available to them as victims or survivors of GBV. Moreover, empowering them to be actively involved in decision making processes that affects their livelihood. We have observed that mining industries are male dominated industries because of the misconception that women are physically incapable for working in mining industry. Women are mostly excluded on mining benefits such as trainings, learnerships, employment or forming part of SLP’s consultations etc. As a result, their economic independence becomes limited to a larger extend. This is one of the reasons as to why most women are victims of economic abuse and other various forms of domestics and sexual abuse.
Economic abuse basically refers to a form of abuse when one intimate partner has control over the other partner’s access to economic resources, which diminishes the victim’s capacity to support themselves and forces them to depend on the perpetrator financially. Most women in mining affected communities are subjected to this type of abuse for different reasons. However, the one that takes precedent is an insufficient empowerment, advocacy, and inclusivity of women within mining industries. As this leaves them with limited access to economic resources which forces them to turn a blind eye on the abuse out of fear of losing financial support from the perpetrator.
Thus, it is imperative that we work towards mechanisms that will ensure that women inclusivity is mostly advocated for as far as economic benefits from mining industries are concerned. Not forgetting the need to capacitate them on legal remedies available to them on GBV cases. Let’s stand in solidarity with them to fight against GBV and gender injustices within mining affected communities.