Gender Equity and Equality

15 Afghan Officials visit Kyrgyzstan
15 managers and directors from the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP) and its provincial directorates participated in a networking visit to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Topic: exchanging experiences, challenges, opinions, ambitions and successes when it comes to integrating gender policies in the mining sector. The activity was funded and organised by the Afghan-German Cooperation’s project Promoting Good Governance in the Extractive Sector in Afghanistan”, supported by the German Cooperation in Kyrgyzstan.

The nominated Minister of Mines and Petroleum Mrs Nargis Nehan aims at cultivating gender equality in the mining industry. That includes the MoMP. The exchange shall help to get a better understanding of how to strengthen opportunities for women in mining. That consists of the administrative and governmental side as well as private companies. Mining activities sometimes also have negative impacts on women that need to be taken into account. For example, mining activities can cause people to migrate – and that can minimise female school attendance, their participation in social events etc. Another example is the disappearance of irrigated lands or drinking water due to expanded mining sites. This can endanger food security for entire families and often burdens especially women.  

“Women and men can equally be mining experts in Afghanistan. They can play a vital role when it comes to the country’s economic growth. Such visits will help us to learn from other countries’ experiences", MoMP chief of staff Mr Noorulhaq Farid said. “We are here to learn about the role of gender in the mining sector of Kyrgyzstan. It will help us to adopt some models for improving gender equality in Afghanistan. Currently, female roles in this sector are very weak and invisible”, Afghanistan’s MoMP Gender Unit representative Ms Wazhma Ghani Babury added.

Various international actors such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) were included in exchanging experiences on this topic – subsequent activities can contribute to a more gender balanced mining sector in Afghanistan.

Currently, the number of female professionals in Afghanistan’s mining industry and its mining administration is deficient. To promote professional participation of women, the MoMP and its provincial departments confirmed their commitment to work on raising key stakeholders awareness. Lessons learnt from the visit will be debated when developing a clear gender policy that MoMP is developing, supported by the Afghan-German Cooperation.

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). The Afghan mining sector offers great economic potential that could significantly boost growth in the country. To leverage this potential fully, the programme aims at increasing state revenues, promoting investment and fighting corruption in Afghanistan’s extractive sector. Therefore, the project supports primarily the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP) and the Afghan Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (AEITI).  Among other activities, the project has financed almost 30 scholarships for Afghan women to promote female participation in the sector.