WIMIN Holds National Summit in Abuja, Seeks Protection of Women and Children in the Mining Sector

 WIMIN Holds National Summit in Abuja, Seeks Protection of Women and Children in the Mining Sector

As part of efforts to put in place adequate safeguards for women and children in the mining sector in Nigeria, Women in Mining Nigeria held a 2-day National Summit from Tuesday June 20th to Wednesday June 21st 2023. The event, funded by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), had the theme, “Safeguarding the Rights of Women and Children in the Solid Minerals Sector”.


The summit marked the second in a series that began in 2022 and featured high-level stakeholders from several sectors, including mining, human rights, law and public advocacy, women affairs, and so on. In attendance on the first day were representatives of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, the Mineral Sector Support for Economic Diversification (MinDiver) project, National Human Rights Commission, NEITI, as well as the Ministries of Justice, Environment, and Women Affairs and Social Development.

Keynote Speaker at the Summit, Chief Anthony Okechukwu Ojukwu, Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, represented by Grace Nanya Pam, a director at the Commission, noted that it was important to understand that respecting the rights of people is a collective responsibility. He further applauded the efforts of Women in Mining Nigeria towards protecting the rights of vulnerable groups in the sector, as well as partnering with the NHRC for better outcomes.


In her opening remarks, president and founder of Women in Mining Nigeria, Engr (Dr) Janet Adeyemi underscored the importance of having such high-level discussions, in order to offer insights into the real situations, take stock of achievements gained so far, and map out strategies for the future. “Let me reiterate my commitment to ensuring that the mining space in Nigeria is open and safe for all  women,  both  professionals  and  artisans,  who  have  found  their  passion  in  mining.


“Women  in Mining  in  Nigeria  will  stop  at  nothing  to  achieve  the  eradication  of  gender  abuse  in  the  mining sector in Nigeria, but we need the support of everyone to achieve this feat”, she said. She further thanked OSIWA for the support, while charging women to take advantage of the exposure and information that such forums offer. Engr Adeyemi also assured of WIMIN’s commitment to continue to drive efforts towards protecting the interests of women in the sector.


Members from various state chapters of Women in Mining Nigeria were also on hand to give details of the project implementation progress in their respective states, while also showcasing the milestones achieved in the last one year. 


Highlights of the event included the launch of the Project’s Research Report, as well as the WIM Rights App and Toll-free Line created by the association. A presentation on the app and physical demonstration were also carried out to show the women how the app works. Other notable presentations include Demanding Accountability for Survivors of Human Rights Violation in The Solid Mineral Sector by Abiodun Oyeleye, a renowned Social Development expert, as well as that of the Centre LSD.


The OSIWA project which forms a major part of the summit has several other components, including field visits and enlightenment campaigns, a TV documentary, nationwide policy dialogues and engagements, collaborations and partnerships, advocacy visits, as well as the mobile app and toll-free lines launched at the event.

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