Encouraging Women to Work in the Afghan Mining Industry

Kabul, 15th March 2018 – 20 employees of the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP) participated in a two-day workshop in Kabul. Topic: Gender equity and equality in the Afghan Mining Sector. The MoMP and the Ministry of Woman Affairs (MoWA) jointly organised the workshop, funded by the Afghan-German Cooperation’s project “Promoting Good Governance in the Extractive Sector in Afghanistan”. Since 2015, the Afghan-German Cooperation has supported several gender workshops in Kabul, Herat, Balkh and Kandahar.

The head of MoMP’s Human Resource Directorate, Mr Mohammad Shafiq Zamani, said: ”Mutual respect is vital for men and women working together. We need to encourage women to play an equal role in Afghanistan’s mining sector”. The head of MoMP’s Gender Unit, Ms Khadija Kazemi, added: “Women can play an important role in bringing forward the mining sector’s development. They help to increase awareness on both a central and provincial level generally”.

Women and men should have equal access to resources and opportunities. Both need to benefit from these. Currently, the number of female professionals in the mining industry is meagre. To promote female participation in the sector, continuous awareness building amongst administrations, key industry stakeholders, educational institutions and the general public is necessary to increase gender balance in the mining industry. An increased gender balance would enable women to realise their professional potential and to contribute to the national economy.

The workshop also addressed aspects such as the mining industry’s impact on women, especially in rural areas. Mining-related migration and resulting mobility restrictions can also minimise school attendance and their participation in social events. On the other hand, women might dispose of incomes if they would benefit from economic opportunities generated by mining activities.

Participants discussed gender and related concepts in general, the sources of organisational discrimination, gender equity and equality in a working environment, communication and mutual respect, gender integration in ministerial policies and the role of women in the mining sector’s development.

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 potential, 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 organised 21 training courses on topics such as mine planning, mining economics and mining supervision for more than 310 mining inspectors and other employees at the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP) and provincial authorities since 2013.

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