The Federal Government has urged women in communities replete with gold deposit to begin to participate actively in gold mining activities in order to enhance their economic wellbeing.
According to a statement made available to our correspondent in Osogbo on Thursday, the Minister of State for Solid Minerals, Alhaji Bawa Abubakar, said this in Ibodi, Osun State at the sensitisation and awareness campaign on gender mainstreaming in the Nigerian mining sector.
Speaking on the theme, ‘Promoting women in mines towards mining prosperity’, the minister, who was represented by the Desk Officer Gender, Mrs Hasana Shaaba, said the involvement of women in gold mining should be active in order to enjoy the benefits it had to offer.
The minister said, “Mining is one of the jobs that Federal Government generates a huge sum of money from. Government has observed that women have special skills that bring more development and money in any organisation where they function.
“That is one of the reasons the Federal Government wants females to be actively involved in mining jobs at every stage of artisanal gold mining business. This will also enhance their financial worth and capacity.”
He said women were afraid of doing the job because they taught mining would add extra burden to the traditional roles as wives and mother.
The Director of Artisanal and Small Scale Mining, Mr Patrick Ojeka , said mining jobs were much more lucrative than jobs in the health, education, nutrition and smaller scale infrastructure projects that women liked to do.
He said that the sensitisation was organised by FG to educate the womenfolk in communities with gold deposit that they could also participate in gold mining activities just like their men counterparts.
A Gender Consultant, Mrs Ngozichi Okorie, said women could participate in mining jobs as miners, processors and marketers, saying they just needed to explore the opportunities available to them to better their lots.
She, however, said that women had not been participating in mining due to personal and structural barriers and that most of them did not have time to train in mining.
She said they would train women in the community to participate in the activities that would help the mining sector.