"Empowerment of women directly leads to positive transformation of communities" -Barbara Oteng-Gyasi
Chairperson of the Minerals Commission, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi says empowerment of women directly leads to positive transformation of communities at the local, sub-regional, regional and global levels.
She made these remarks at the maiden annual womwn in mining conference held in Accra.
In a speech read on her behalf, she said "As one of the objects of WIMG, there is no doubt that the empowerment of women, particularly, economic empowerment, directly leads to positive transformation of communities at the local, sub-regional, regional and global levels"
She added that all stakeholders in the mining industry such as government, regulators, investors, local communities, academia, and CSOs must continue to work together to channel more resources and build the expected capacity for the empowerment of women in our mining industry.
"As chairperson of the Minerals Commission, I must admit, that there is a lot of responsibility on the regulator, to ensure the country achieves its targets with respect to the proportion of females working in the mining industry"
"It is very important to add that we do not just want to rake up the numbers of women along the peripheries, but also ensure that more women take up key managerial roles in the Ghanaian mining industry"
She stressed that research shows that mining companies with higher proportion of women in the workforce are doing very well.
"Indeed, with the wide acceptability of Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria in the extractives industry, it has become even more pertinent for companies to reflect on such issues and take bold measurable steps in that regard"
"Through the selfless efforts of female professionals and female-oriented civil society organisations, such as WIMG, it has become abundantly clear that women can and are indeed, playing very important roles in Ghana’s mining industry"
On her part, President of Women in Mining, Dr. Georgette Sakyi-Addo, she said "As the President of WIM-Ghana, I am honoured to stand before you today and witness the coming together of passionate individuals who are dedicated to driving positive change in the mining sector. This conference is a testament to the industry’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and empowerment"
"The theme of our conference, 'Future Fit Responsible Mining – The Female Factor,' encapsulates our belief in the transformative power of women in mining. We need to embrace new technologies, AI and sustainable practices"
"Today, we acknowledge the remarkable achievements of women who have shattered barriers, Catherine Kuupol, Metallurgy Manager - Goldfields Ghana, Genevieve Tettey, Vicky Bleepony, Celestine Allotey, Joyce Aryee and Alexandra Amoako Mensah whose thesis led to recent Lithium discovery etc have blazed trails, and left an indelible mark on the industry. Their resilience, intelligence, and unwavering determination continue to inspire us all"
She hinted that a recent study sponsored by the Ford Foundation and commissioned by women in mining Ghana, revealed that issues such as sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliation and lack of effective female leadership still plague the industry.
"How do we find solutions to such issues? I believe continuous engagement is at all levels is key to resolving and brining attention to some of these issues"
She noted that the conference would provide a platform for engaging discussions on crucial topics such as diversity and inclusion, talent development, opportunities in the mining industry, policies and frameworks around gender, the role of women in sustainable mining, and how the industry can further support and benefit from their contributions.
"To our Industry partners, the Ghana Chamber of Mines, our Platinum sponsors: Minerals Income Investment Fund, The Minerals Development Fund, Goldfields Ghana, we are grateful for your generous support and tireless efforts in making this conference a reality"
"I also want to express my deepest gratitude to Lindiwe Services, Women in Mining Ghana Volunteers, without your dedication and unwavering support, this conference would not have been possible"
There were series sessions with great panels who share wonderful ideas on how women could aspire for topmost positions in various institutions in the country.
Story by: Bella Bridgette Aborjoe