MOMP Staff Increases Awareness on the Role of Gender in Mining

Today, 20 male and female staff of the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP) successfully completed a two-day workshop in Kabul Province on the role of gender in mining management. The activity aimed at promoting female participation and employment in the extractive industry. The Afghan-German Cooperation’s programme for promoting good governance in the Afghan extractive sector (MinGov) financed and implemented the workshop together with the Afghan Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP).

The head of the Gender Unit at MoMP, Ms Khadija Kazemi, stated, ‘We have recently had three females move into director level positions. They have really proved that women can be a successful and important part of mining sector development.’

The workshop was led by two national female facilitators of MoMP. Participants learned about the definitions of and the differences between gender concepts, gendered work roles in society, gender equity and equality, as well as women’s status in the mining sector. Among the topics examined at the workshop were the role of gender in mining sector management and professional behaviour in a working environment.

Participants were informed about and familiarised with the law on violence against women and children, as women often face discrimination and harassment. By raising awareness and thus minimising occurrences, MoMP hopes to create a friendly working environment and increase the number of female staff at central and provincial level.

Currently, the number of female professionals in Afghanistan’s mining industry and relevant government institutions is low. In 2014, women made up 10 per cent of staff in the mining sector. By 2019, this was increased to 14 per cent. MoMP is aiming to have 30 per cent employment of women in the mining sector.

Participants discussed the advantages of a gender-balanced working environment and the role and responsibilities of the MoMP’s Gender Unit. One female participant emphasised, ‘We know the mining sector is challenging and that it needs more technical efforts. We as female staff are fully ready to accept the challenge of working in this sector.’

Staff members from different directorates of the ministry attended the workshop. They will put their new knowledge to use when hiring new staff in the future and can help foster a suitable and acceptable professional working environment.

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 unit in implementing capacity development activities and developing a gender policy that will promote women’s employment in the Afghan mining sector.

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 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. 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.