Women in Lead – 20 Female Staff of Ministry of Mines and Petroleum Complete Leadership Training in Kabul

Today, 20 female staff from different directorates of the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP) completed a three weeks long leadership training programme. The training took place in Kabul and aimed at enhancing the participants’ professional capacities to enable them to work in leadership or management positions. The MoMP’s Gender Unit initiated the training. The Afghan-German Cooperation’s programme to promote good governance in the Afghan extractive sector (MinGov) supported the event financially.

On International Women’s Day in 2019, the former Acting Minister of Mines and Petroleum, Nargis Nehan, stated that, ’The role of women in the mining sector should change from symbolic to real, active and qualitative participation in the near future. We should have at least 30 percent female staff within the MoMP and its provincial departments.’ Currently, however, only 216 of about 2000 staff are women – and most of them work in very low positions with no decision-making authority.

Many of the women working for the MoMP lack the qualification and skills to take on higher responsibilities, hindering their promotion to decision-making positions. Therefore, the ministry had developed a 5-year reform document in 2018 to promote women’s participation in the sector. It includes several measures such as capacity development for women. As one of these measures, the current leadership training focussed on leadership, management, and communication, and particularly on organisational communication.  One of the participants emphasised, ‘We feel more confident and capable to take on more responsibilities in the mining sector and be part of the sector’s development.’

It was the first time that such a training for female staff working at the MoMP at central level took place. The ministry highly appreciated the activity as qualified female staff is now able to take on decision-making responsibilities within the ministry. At the same time, the pool of well-qualified staff available to the ministry has been increased.  

The MoMP’s Deputy Minister for Administration and Finance, Mr Sayed Mahboobullah Rabani, stated, ‘The ministry is committed to developing female staff’s capacities. They are an important part of the Afghan mining sector’s development. Improved leadership skills will significantly contribute to making women part of decision-making processes.’

The mining sector holds immense potential for Afghanistan’s sustainable development. To exploit this potential, Afghanistan needs highly qualified workers, regardless of gender. However, the public currently perceives the mining sector as a strictly male sector where women have no place. Changing this perception is key to the sector’s development. At the same time, progress regarding gender equality in this crucial industry is expected to have a lighthouse effect on Afghan society.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH implements the programme Strengthening Good Governance in the Mining Sector (MinGov) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The project aims to monitor and ensure transparency in the extractive industry to help regulate government revenues, promote investment and fight corruption over the long term. It advises and supports the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP) on transparent data management, complying with international standards, and developing and enhancing practical expertise while promoting women in the mining sector. It supports Afghanistan in becoming revalidated in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), requiring data transparency and anti-corruption measures. Since 2013, over 700 people received professional training and job-specific training.