Writes Pabalelo Tlou
Margret Chogugudza, director of Rural Young Women Support Network says her NGO is determined to expose and seek solutions to the challenges that young women within the mining sector are experiencing on a daily basis.
Speaking to this publication, Chogugudza said the main objective of the NGO is to bridge the gap of inequality within the mining sector by challenging the government and other responsible authorities to do right by women.
“The government should revise its legal and regulatory reforms to ensure they include provisions of gender equality, protection of women’s rights, and access to mining opportunities,” she said.
According to her, she says the gap to equality continues to widen and it is the NGO’s responsibility to fight for young women who cannot defend their rights and are subject to gender-based violence, sexual abuse, harassment, exploitation, and discrimination.
Chogugudza also highlighted that it is in her best interest to see mining communities have access to basic social services such as a hospital, clean water, and education.
“The government needs to fulfill its constitutional obligation to promote the rights to health care, safe and clean water, environment, education, and the right to equality and non-discrimination,” she added.
Chogugudza also highlighted the importance of good mining practices to protect the health and well-being of women and children who live in these mining communities.
“Local authorities should enforce environmental regulations to protect the health and wellbeing of residents in mining areas, especially women and children,” she said.
She also challenged local authorities to use money wisely by channelling some of the funds generated in mines towards improving the livelihoods of women.
This is what she had to say,” Revenue generated from mining taxation must be channelled towards initiatives that will improve the lives of women and young girls through gender-transformative public service delivery.”
Chogugudza believes putting up a united front will eventually force the government and other responsible authorities to listen and create initiatives toward the empowerment of women and girls.