Women in Mining: Awareness Workshop in Kabul

Yesterday, 20 male and female staff of the Afghan Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP) successfully completed a three-day workshop in Kabul. The event focused on the role of gender in the Afghan mining sector’s development and aimed at promoting female participation. The Afghan-German Cooperation’s programme for promoting good governance in the Afghan extractive sector (MinGov) financed and implemented the activity together with the MoMP’s Gender Unit and the Ministry of Women Affairs (MoWA).

Currently, the number of female professionals in Afghanistan’s mining industry and relevant government institutions is deficient. The workshop aimed at raising gender awareness among staff to facilitate women’s employment at central and provincial level. The acting head of the MoMP’s Admin and Finance Directorate, Mr Mohammad Mustafa Majidyar, emphasised: “Gender equality is a key component of the MoMP’s road map for the mining sector and extractive industries. Female participation should be ensured on all levels.”

The MoMP commits to increase the share of women in the ministry and state-owned enterprises to 30% in its road map for extractive industries of 2017. Staff members of the ministry and directorates shall use their newly learned knowledge when hiring new staff for future planning. One participant stated: “Female staff at the ministry have proven that they have the ability to work in the sector. Now it is time to create additional opportunities for them to participate in this key sector’s development.”

Participants learned about the differences between gender and sex, gender equity and equality, as well as women’s status in the mining sector. They further discussed the advantages of a gender-balanced working environment such as improved economic growth and female participation in decision-making processes. Attendees also got to know the role and responsibilities of the MoMP’s Gender Unit.

To raise gender awareness in the Afghan mining sector, the MoMP’s Gender Unit implements a wide range of activities. The unit also became part of the ministry’s recruitment committee to preclude discrimination against women. The Afghan-German Cooperation supports the Gender Unit in implementing training activities such as awareness workshops and developing a gender policy that shall promote women’s employment in the Afghan mining sector. In 2018, another three workshops on gender’s role in the mining sector’s development have taken place in Kabul and the provinces Balkh and Parwan. In total, 80 male and female staff of the MoMP and its provincial departments participated.

The programme Promoting Good Governance in the Extractive Sector in Afghanistan is implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). To fully leverage the Afghan mining sector’s poten-tial, the programme aims at increasing state revenues, promoting investment and fighting corruption in the sector. The project trains stakeholders to ensure that mining activities are carried out transparently and according to law as well as international health and environmental standards. Among other activities, the project has implemented 26 training courses on topics such as mine planning, mining economics and mining supervision for more than 380 mining inspectors and other employees at the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP) and provincial authorities since 2014. At the same time, the programme has financed 13 scholarships for Afghan women to promote female participation in the sector. The programme further supports the Afghan Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (AEITI) to promote transparency and fight corruption.

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