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For Immediate Release Over 100 delegates take part at the Inaugural Symposium on Gender and Extractives

6 April 2017

Today, Over 100 delegates are expected to participate at the inagural symposium on gender and extractives which is been held in commemoration of the 2017 Women’s Day which ran under the theme BeBoldForChange. The platform on Gender and Extractives in Zimbabwe which is a multi-stakeholder platform is hosting the symposium designed to interrogate challenges and opportunities for women within the mining sector. The symposium brings together women from mining host communities, organisations focused on the extractive sector, activist for women’s rights and other key stakeholders in government and business to interrogate policy and practice with attention on womens lived realities. This platform is important in the provision and sharing of information that facilitates learning, exchange and debate on the political, economic conceptual and practical dimensions for women in mining sector in Zimbabwe.

The exclusion of certain segments of society from natural resource governance based on sex and gender is a global phenomenon, of which Zimbabwe is no exception. For many countries, extractive industries sector is a major economic driver through creating jobs, revenue, and opportunities for growth and development. It is generally acknowledged however that, men and women are differently impacted by the extractive industry, and the implications of this on the sustainable development of communities, as well as on the profitability of the extractive industry operations themselves is well documented.
In responding to the above, the symposium by the Platform for Gender and Extractives[1] in Zimbabwe will focus on gender inclusivity, particularly with regards to women as a disadvantaged group.
This gathering is also an important platform where the different stakeholders will be sensitised on the key developments in the sector, sharing useful tools that partners in Zimbabwe can use for their advocacy work on improving mining laws, policies and practices for the creation of sustainable and inclusive economic development.

The symposium has been designed as a multi-focal platform that acknowledges that women in the extractive industry or sector are a heterogeneous group with varying interests requiring different interventions appropriate to need. Apart from the rich-poor; rural-urban divide, the symposium will explore issues of women formally employed in the sector by large scale extractive industries who have labor related issues; women trying to balance the competing interests between economic benefits accrued from engaging in mining and the need to preserve the environment to ensure food security as well as personal health; women who personally engage in artisanal or small scale mining and women within communities who seek to be included in decision making processes over extractives as well as having general economic empowerment. *Attached is a collection of stories from the members of the Platform on Gender and Extractives that speak to some of the issues that will be deliberated