Editor's Comment

Mines empower women, too


THE participation of women in all sectors is cardinal for the promotion of gender equality.
However, all too often, their absence is conspicuous in sectors where they can participate and this is not good for the country’s development.
Their absence in those sectors means they are left behind while their male counterparts forge ahead and score some successes.
Where the women’s participation is lacking, it is the duty of those in power to put in measures to make it easy for the women to be part of the process.
Among the measures that can be implemented is the building of capacity for the women to have the ability to participate.
Alternatively, women, who for most of the time are plagued with lack of finances, need to be assisted with the financial means to be part of the development process.
It is for this reason that we commend Minister of Mines and Mineral Development Richard Musukwa, who has challenged the mines to build capacity in women to enable them to contribute to national development.
The mining sector in Zambia offers a number of opportunities, among them the chance to be part of the supply chain.
Generally, women find it difficult to participate in a number of sectors because of the same demands that are made by those who seek a service.
At the same time, the tenets of development call for equal participation of men and women to achieve gender parity. No one gender should be left behind while the other soldiers on.
The participation of women is also important because it can enhance development in our communities.
It is not an overstatement that if women are empowered, then the whole community is empowered.
A woman’s primary duty is to look after the family and it is from this viewpoint that it is said that empowering a woman brings more benefits to all.
From her earnings, a woman will ensure her household is well catered for, that is her family does not go without food or basic needs.
That is why a woman can forego a meal just so that her children have something to eat and grow well and become dependable citizens.
It should also be borne in mind that empowerment is not a task for Government but for anyone who has the ability to empower others, the mines inclusive.
That is why at family level, relatives who have better means take on those who do not so that they empower them with an education and become better citizens, at least in the African setting.
The minister is making the call at corporate level and we expect that the mines will take heed and open up their opportunities to women and give them a chance to supply to the mines.
We have some capable women who when given a chance, are able to prove themselves and show what they are made of.
We recognise that the mining companies are making a huge contribution to the growth of our economy but this growth is not complete if they do not take on board the women of this country.

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