3 Questions

Martha Jerome

Together with Solidaridad and Healthy Entrepreneurs, Simavi started the Going for Gold programme to address women’s economic empowerment in the small-scale mining sector. This 5-year programme aims to improve the health and economic opportunities for women living in and around artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) communities in Western Region, Ghana, and Geita district, Tanzania. We asked Martha Jerome, from Tanzania three questions about this topic.

1

Why is it important to increase women’s economic empowerment in the mining industry?

“It is very important because are a lot of opportunities in the mining sector which are not accessible for women. This is due to the common misconception that men can perform the work better than women, which leads to special work for men and special work for women. For example, women are not given a chance to operate machines or do mining work in the pit areas, which are both well-paid jobs. If we can empower women to claim these positions, it can help to reduce the rate of poverty, as they can then assist husbands with some of their home’s financial responsibilities.”

2

How is women’s economic empowerment related to reducing the risk of violence? What kind of threats do women face in the mining industry?

“A big source of domestic violence is related to many women’s economic dependence on their husbands. Therefore empowering women to have economic independence means that they have more freedom to decide on their own affairs.

Women face many risks in the mining industry, including cohabitation, sexual violence and isolation in the mining works.”

3

What is your wish for the future for women in the mining industry? And what would your message be to governments about the obligation to work toward ensuring women’s economic empowerment in achieving Sustainable Development?

“My wish is for women to perform work under contract which rewards them financially, because most of the women in mining areas do small jobs for low wages which do not benefit them.

My message to governments would be to improve some of the policies, laws and regulations that relate to economic and social empowerment, because you cannot empower a woman economically if she is not physically fit. That’s why governments should ensure that they improves social and economic conditions to achieve Sustainable Development.”

You can find more information about the Going for Gold programma here.

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3 Questions

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