… To develop mobile application for reporting of abuse
By Charlie Agwam – Bauchi
Female miners under the umbrella of Women In Mining In Nigeria (WIMIN) have lamented the exploitation of women and children in the mining industry.
The association said that they are developing a mobile application where incidences of gender and child rights abuses at mining host communities can be streamed live and reported simultaneously to the NHRC for immediate follow-up.
President and Founder of the organization, Engr. Janet Adeyemi, during a three-day capacity building in Bauchi State, said that their implementation strategy is a key tool for promoting the engagement of women in safe and sustainable mining practices in Nigeria.
“We are currently developing a mobile application where incidences of gender and child rights abuses at the mining host communities can be streamed live and reported simultaneously to the NHRC for immediate follow-up. The mobile app will be dynamic and will incorporate other features of offline reporting, reporting by proxy, anonymous reporting among other.
“In addition to that, we are setting up a toll-free hotline to entertain reports of gender and child rights violation in mining host communities for immediate and rapid response. As a global organization, we form an integral part of the Women In Mining in West Africa (WIMOWA), Association of Women In Mining In Africa (AWIMWA) and the International Women In Mining (IWIM)
“Our activities revolve around capacity building, health and safety, sustainability, good and inclusive governance, economic integration of women through digitization into the mineral and metal market, promotion of responsible mining, sourcing and value chain addition, taking advantage of our network regionally, in Africa and globally.
“Currently, we have a membership base of over 5,000 women cutting across Artisanal and Small Scale Miners, Mining Operators, Mining Experts, Geologist, Lawyers, Engineers, Students of Geology and Mining Engineering, women in mining host communities, and Male Advocates (known as HE4SHE Advocates),” she said.
The founder who was represented by a top functionary in the organization said that they have launched a 1 year programme in 3 states of Nigeria with the sole aim of Safeguarding the Rights of Women and Children in the Solid Minerals Sector in Nigeria.
“Bauchi State is richly endowed with mineral resources in commercial quantity. Some include Feldspar, Marble, Kaolin, Granite, Tin, Columbite, Gemstones and others. Hence it is expected that mining activities in the state will be a prominent feature, and wherever mining is done, you find women and children there.
“In most mining sites and host communities in Nigeria, women are constantly abused, misused, overlaboured, underpaid, shortchanged and even raped by the male labourers and staff of mining companies. The companies also unlawfully welcome the labour of young children who should not be exposed to the mining environment yet but should be in school.
“The children are stretched and overlaboured by mining companies and their wages are given to their mothers who are equally on the mining site. Considering the challenges above, Women In Mining In Nigeria with the support of Open Society Foundation (OSF), has now launched a 1 year programme in 3 states of Nigeria with the sole aim of “Safeguarding the Rights of Women and Children in the Solid Minerals Sector in Nigeria”, and it is my pleasure to inform you that Bauchi State is one of those 3 states selected.
“At this time, we have entered into a sustainable partnership with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to ensure that gender and child rights abuses in mining host communities at the grassroots are escalated to the Commission for immediate response and intervention.
“It is our pleasure to be in Bauchi State, the Centre of hospitality, the land of honour. At this time, we are expressing our interest to identify with you and to see ways we can work closely with your office to ensure that gender justice is mainstreamed in the solid minerals sector in Nigeria,” she added.