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Women shun mining sector

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THE uptake of small-scale mining training programmes by women remains low accounting for only 33% of trained miners by June, the Zimbabwe School of Mines distance learning centre has revealed.

BY TALENT GUMPO

Over 520 small-scale miners comprising of women and youth received Small Scale Mining Technology certification at a ceremony held on Thursday at a ceremony at the Zimbabwe School of Mines.

Addressing ZSM graduates, Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development ministry, director of women affairs, Thecla Madziwa said the ministry’s mandate of spearheading women empowerment, gender and equality development has seen more women venturing into the sector although the numbers have remained low.

“Over the years, women have lagged behind in the mining sector due to the patriarchal system where women were relegated to minute micro-enterprises.

“This was coupled with the exorbitant costs of venturing into mining which most women could not afford,” she said.

Madziwa said a fund established by her ministry in 2010 towards addressing collateral and high interest rates charged at banks, had assisted over 2 000 women’s projects.

“To date 2 145 women’s projects in all the economic sectors have been funded to the tune of $3,45 million since 2010
Speaking at the same event, Mines ministry permanent secretary, Munesuishe Munodawafa said the small-scale and artisanal miners contributed to the growth of the economy.

“The government is establishing service centres for small-scale miners which are also aimed at increasing production.

“Mimosa mining company has also pledged and is initially putting $150 000 for the purchase of laboratory equipment,” he said.

Munodawafa, however, urged miners to rehabilitate and conserve the environment.

“Government is putting a lot of effort in terms of rehabilitation, miners must learn that after mining, they restore the environment because it affects farmers, livestock and also endangers human lives,” he said.

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