Mining firm open doors for Tanzanian women in extractive industry

10Jun 2021
By Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Mining firm open doors for Tanzanian women in extractive industry

“THERE is a say that, educating a woman is equivalent to educating the nation, the same applies to the concept of empowering women, meaning an economically empowered woman is an asset to a whole community,” said Zuwena Senkondo, a Sustainable Communities Superintendent for Barrick Gold Bulyanhulu-

Barrick Bulyanhulu Gold mine workers clean their mining environment to mark World Environment Day 2021 held recently. Photo: Guardian Correspondent

Shinyanga.

She said that despite this, developing countries still struggle to implement inclusive programmes for women especially in decision-making positions at workplaces.

Speaking recently at a dialogue on gender and women empowerment which was organised by a platform of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs)—HakiRasilimali, Senkondo said: “To sustainably address this challenge of living the girl-child behind, it is vital for girls to study hard and utilize opportunities to prove that women are actually capable.”

She said that institutions and corporate companies ought to believe in women’s capabilities and qualifications in leadership positions, arguing that women who engage themselves in entrepreneurial activities, agriculture, animal husbandry and other economic activities have to believe in themselves and conduct their businesses effectively with a goal to achieve financial freedom and improve their livelihoods.

Senkondo said she is proud to be employed by Barrick, a company that has been in the forefront to create equal opportunities for its employees regardless of gender and age, and the mining company also has an active policy to give back to its surrounding community whereas most beneficiaries are women.

A graduate in Business and Community Development from a university in South Africa, Senkondo expressed her enlightenment to be chosen by Barrick to participate in the conference for gender related issues which she believes she has learned a lot from and the knowledge acquired will help implement her official duties even more efficiently.

She said through the conference she had the opportunity to encourage women to that they can work in any of the extractive industry and hold senior positions, adding that, apart from that, she could also share with participants various opportunities that are available through the mining policy that requires mines to implement sustainable community projects that would engage more women in the extractive industry.

“I am proud to work with Barrick on account that they are keen to observe efficiency at work, and that allowed me to urge various groups of policy makers to utilize this opportunity provided by Barrick to engage women. I had the opportunity to share with participants some of the key requirements needed to prepare a woman to take part in the extractive industry in all fields, how to benefit from the value chain as well as benefiting directly from employment,” she said.

Commenting on community projects implemented by Barrick that are beneficial to women, she noted the projects that are meant to improve educational infrastructures in order to provide convenient environment for girls to acquire education including building hostels at Bugarama, Mwingiro, Msalala, Nyang’hwale and Bulyanhulu secondary schools.

Other projects are those tailored to assist women groups to officiate their businesses so that they can work with the mine and contractors (agriculture and animal husbandry), building capacity for women groups to acquire markets for the products they make, provide assistance in educational programmes that would help improve performance of girl students as well as the establishment of a business forum that provides entrepreneurial skills.

In her spare time, Senkondo likes to read books, surfing the internet for news and current affairs and spending time with her family.

She called on women to further improve themselves through education, believe in themselves and do away with the mindset that men are more capable than women, “I know there are countless challenges that we encounter as women, nevertheless, we shouldn’t put ourselves behind men in everything, once we manage to overcome this mentality then we can move further ahead, there are examples of women here in the country who continue to shine in their professions even more than men because of their education and self-esteem.”

ENDS

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