Gender & Mining Program
Gender and Mining program seeks to address women issues in the mining sector by giving relevance to the women working and living in mining areas.
This is done through women leadership development, policy reforms, community mobilization and networking with like minded organisation to create vibrant movement of women in mining so as their issues to be heard from the local level to the national level.
In Tanzania, exploitation of minerals is carried out by Large Scale Miners and Artisanal & Small-scale Miners (ASM). The former is mainly carried by formal investment with mines employing thousands of people, highly mechanized using advanced technology. The companies in the large scale mining are registered, through paying taxes make a major share of mining contribution to the national economy. The ASM on the other hand is referred to as subsistence mining activities that involves individuals or enterprises which have low levels of technology mainly due to poor capitalization and a lack of knowledge and skills. In Tanzania, it is estimated that 1.5 million people are directly involved in artisanal and small-scale mining and up to 25 % of whom are women (Dreschler 2001).
Women have a big stake in ASM and play several roles and hold positions of significant influence in Tanzanian artisanal and small scale mining sector. Some are legal owners of plots who run their mines while employing a significant number of employees including men. Mining projects run by women are frequently well-organized, clean and vibrant. Women are also good traders and with cautious financial management and soft influence, they are powerful actors in the supply chain as mineral brokers or dealers.
ASM, as it is practiced in the country today, is increasingly marginalized by the advent of new investment in formal mining. The government gives priority to foreign investors through provision of favorable conditions and security through provision of tax incentives .Artisanal miners are regarded as informal and illegal while small scale miners are `legally recognized’. Production in ASM is erratic, unquantifiable and considered not to add value to the overall sector. Worse still, the financial institutions find it difficult to lend money to ASM due to their informality, migratory nature and lack of collaterals. Despite claiming to be gender neutral, policies and programs affect women and men differently and actually serve to exacerbate gender inequalities. The government does not have development strategies for women ASM despite having mining policy that talk about women.
Challenges facing women in Mining sector in Tanzania.
Women miners face exclusion in the male dominated mining sector due to legal-policy practices and capacity challenges. Coupled with weak women organising, small scale women miners have had little opportunities to benefit from upstream and downstream linkages. This has been a limitation in women miners’ progression and rise into key positions in all public and private institutions working around mining. Extension services under the Ministry of Energy and Minerals has been ineffective in addressing this gap due to limited financial allocation and absence of expertise within the regulatory bodies. No major efforts have been put in strengthening small-scale women miners’ engagement in mineral trading, processing and value addition. The element of fair trade in mineral trade remains a dream unless we empower women miners to engage throughout mineral sector value chain .
HakiMadini through Gender and Mining Program has deployed some efforts that aim at empowering women miners in Tanzania through;
Strengthening women miners leadership and advocacy skills building, support capacity, strengthening of women organizations and networks in order to be able to address women interests in mining sector. Capacity building to women miners in order to advance their capacities on mining policies and laws as well as organizational development skills, Support women miners engagement with key stakeholders in the sector including the National Assembly, Ministry of Energy and Minerals, financial institutions and technical institutions.
Host a National Women miners Platform as a space for women to share experiences and lessons as a way of building a common voice, create visibility and show solidarity with other struggles.