WIMIN develops mobile app to tackle sexual abuse of women in mining sites

From Paul Orude, Bauchi

Women In Mining in Nigeria, WIMlN, a non governmental organisation, has developed a mobile application that will check the rising cases of rape of women miners by male labourers and staff of mining companies in several mining sites across Nigeria.

President and Founder of WIMIN, Engineer Janet Adeyemi, made the disclosure on Wednesday, during a three-day capacity building in Bauchi State, expressing confidence that the app would prevent human rights abuses against women miners in the country.

“In most mining sites and host communities in Nigeria, women are constantly abused, misused, overlaboured, underpaid, shortchanged and even raped by the male labourers and staff of mining companies” she stated.

Adeyemi, who was represented by
Ambassador Regina Edzuwah, said that the capacity building workshop is to safeguard the Rights of Women and Children in the Solid Minerals Sector saying over 1000 have been trained.

She said issues such as laws, policy and regulations affecting the mining sector, Gender Rights and Child Rights in the Mining Sector, Mining Financing, and SHE (Safety, Health and Environment would be discussed extensively.

She disclosed that WIMIN has developed a mobile application where incidences of gender and child rights abuses at the mining host communities can be streamed live and reported.

“The mobile app will be dynamic and will incorporate other features of offline reporting, reporting by proxy, anonymous reporting among other. In addition to that, we are setting up a toll-free hotline to entertain reports of gender and child rights violation in mining host communities for immediate and rapid response,” she said.

Adeyemi disclosed that the organisation currently has a membership base of over 5,000 women cutting across Artisanal and Small Scale Miners, Mining Operators, Mining Experts, Geologist, Lawyers, Engineers, Students of Geology and Mining Engineering, women in mining host communities, and Male Advocates (known as HE4SHE Advocates). practices and other cross-cutting isues.
“Bauchi State is richly endowed with mineral resources in commercial quantity. Some include Feldspar, Marble, Kaolin, Granite, Tin, Columbite, Gemstones and others. Hence it is expected that mining activities in the state will be a prominent feature, and wherever mining is done, you find women and children there”

She lamented that some mining companies also unlawfully welcome the labour of young children who should not be exposed to the mining environment yet but should be in school.

“The children are stretched and overlaboured by mining companies and their wages are given to their mothers who are equally on the mining site” she said.

“Considering the challenges above, Women In Mining In Nigeria with the support of Open Society Foundation (OSF), has now launched a one -year programme in three states of Nigeria with the sole aim of “Safeguarding the Rights of Women and Children in the Solid Minerals Sector in Nigeria and it is my pleasure to inform you that Bauchi State is one of those three states selected.

“Others states on the list include Ekiti State and Bauchi State. We have our states chapters established across the ,six geo-political zones in Nigeria and that has given us a national outlook.

“Few years back, we were mainstreamed into the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development as a recognized gender-rights organization in the mining sector and currently, the Ministry through its Min-Diver Project is positioning WIMIN at an elevated altitude in the mining sector. Earlier this year, WIMIN was at Accra Ghana as part of the ECOWAS expert team given the mandate to review the draft ECOWAS Charter on Gender Mainstreaming in the Geo-extractive sector.

“We have also created the Women In Mining Training Institute (WIMTI) a monthly online class on mining operations, mining opportunities and legalities surrounding mining in Nigeria and many mining operators, experts, academics and students are beneficiaries of the WIMTI classes.

“Earlier this year, we established the Girls For Mining programme (G4M), setting up Miners Clubs in various schools and providing training and mentorship to young girls of school age with the goal of integrating them into the mining sector.

“This is a component of our programme to mainstream gender in the mining sector, this time with a unique system of human capital investment for our young girls, creating a pipeline for the steady inflow of skilled and motivated female miners into the mining sector.

“At this time, we have entered into a sustainable partnership with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to ensure that gender and child rights abuses in mining host communities at the grassroots are escalated to the Commission for immediate response and intervention”

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