Workshop on Gender Equity and Equality
The Head of Gender Unit Ms Khudija Kazemi commented: “We need to change the idea that mining is a purely male sector”. "Women can play an important role in this sector. They should be encouraged to apply for positions and to work in this ministry in the future", Mr Zamani, head of HR, added.
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 extremely low. In order to promote female participation in the sector, representatives of both ministries identified high potential areas for job opportunities for women. The participants agreed that 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. Having less access to drinking water and irrigated lands can for example increase women’s workload to ensure food and water for their families. 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 also learned about international conventions as well as Afghan policies and laws regulating the mining sector. The workshop concluded with an awareness session on the Afghanistan Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (AEITI). The initiative is based on international standards. It promotes transparency and efficiency when it comes to reporting, disclosure and managing the mining industry. Thus, it aims at improving the licensing of mining companies and revenue generation while reducing corruption in the sector.
The Afghan-German Cooperation’s project also supports the MoMP’s Gender Unit in general capacity building and in developing a gender policy aiming at improving gender equity within the ministry.
The project “Promoting Good Governance in the Extractive Sector in Afghanistan”, funded by the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), provides strategic support to the MoMP, strengthens its departments such as the Mining Inspectorate in line with good governance criteria and supports the Afghanistan Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (AEITI). The project therefore contributes to the Afghan National Development Strategy (ANDS), the National Priority Program (NPP) for the sector and the Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework (ANPDF).