By Nation Reporter
THERE is need for Government to strengthen gender dimensions in the mining sector to advance the economic empowerment of women, says Association of Zambian Women in Mining (AZWIM) chairperson Mary Lubemba.
Ms Lubemba said that over the years women in mining had been facing challenges.
She noted that mining being a major economic activity in Zambia, it was vital for Government to establish roles women play in the sector.
“Empowering women in the mining sector will effect positive change in subsequent generations,” Ms. Lubemba said.
She observed that very few women in Zambia held large scale mining licences, as most women miners were small scale.
Ms. Lubemba also noted that women miners lacked finance and suitable machines for production. “Women miners are mainly involved in mining industrial minerals such as clay, building stones and sand, as well as gemstones. They use rudimentary tools and methods which greatly hinder production, so if the Government can help on that, we would be very grateful,” Ms. Lubemba said.
She said women miners also had insufficient technical knowledge of mining and lacked markets.
“They have little or no knowledge of mining; most of them have chosen the trade because of fortune-seeking or it ties to family history,” she said.
Ms Lubemba appealed to Government to recognise and empower women with the potential in the mining sector.