Press Release Women in Mining Nigeria Holds 2-Day Dialogue on Safeguarding Women and Children
Kogi – 18 April 2023 – Women in Mining Nigeria, a foremost women’s rights group in the solid mineral sector, has today April 19th 2023 embarked on a two-day policy dialogue series in Lokoja, the Kogi state capital. The event, tagged “Safeguarding the Rights of Women and Children in the Solid Minerals Sector”, is aimed at building synergy and collaborations towards protecting the rights of women and children in the mining sector in the state.
The policy dialogue series, funded by the Open Society Foundation (OSF) and in collaboration with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), is a series of engagements that bring together relevant stakeholders in the mining, human rights, legal, security, and environmental sectors to boost interdisciplinary collaboration and engagements and find common grounds for ensuring women and children affected by the mining sector are protected.
The event is set to draw participation from the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, the Ministry of Women Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Environment, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), legal practitioners, traditional rulers, and other stakeholders. A number of presentations have been lined up to address the burning issues surrounding the safety of women and children in mining, and how mining activities affect them.
Some of the speakers include Dr Charles Adebayo Oyelami, the Head of the Department of Geology at the Federal University Oye who will be treating the topic, “Addressing Gender-based Violence and Harassment in the Solid Mineral Sector: The Role of Stakeholders”. Also scheduled to speak is Sir Bola Abimbola, Senior Programme Manager and Head of Programmes, Communication, and Advocacy at the Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy, and Development (SCDDD) whose presentation will focus on the theme, “Leveraging the Economic Opportunities in Solid Minerals for Communal Growth and Development: Advancing Responsible Mining”.
Another notable speaker lined up for the event is Olaogun Michael, a Development Practitioner with focus on Gender Justice, Climate Change, and Human Rights, tasked with delivering the paper; “Determining the Significance of Government Policies Protecting Women and Children in the Solid Mineral in Kogi-State”.
According to Engr Janet Adeyemi, President and Founder of Women in Mining Nigeria, “the event in Kogi has put together some of the best brains in the relevant sectors to deliberate on ideas and policy initiatives to push the conversations around the plight of women and children in and around the sector. Whether they are actively involved in mining or just resident in mining communities, women and children bear the brunt and we must seek ways to protect them”.
“We’re grateful to OSF for the support, and other bodies like the National Human Rights Commission who have seen the need to partner with us in order to provide a shield and succour to the most vulnerable groups in the mining sector. On our part, we already have a mobile app, called ‘WIM Rights’ on Google PlayStore and App Store. With that app, abuse can be reported and a swift response will be received”, she said.
“Kogi is blessed with enormous mineral resources, including coal, gemstones, iron ore, and so on. Everywhere you turn, you’ll find women subjected to all manners of hard labour in mining sites and not accorded the requisite remuneration and recognition. In many cases, they are physically, mentally, and sexually abused, and all of these engagements are to find ways to protect their rights and those of their children,” added Deloraine Dennis, WIMIN Programme Manager.
The Policy Dialogue series was initiated to understudy the plight of women and children associated with the mining sector in three states in the country, namely Ekiti, Kogi, and Bauchi, representing the Southern, Central, and Northern parts of Nigeria. The resolutions from such engagements will form useful components in policy actions by the government and development partners towards ensuring that the sector is safe and conducive for women to thrive.