The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has identified Extractive360, National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Spaces for Change (S4C) and other women led organisations as allies in efforts to break the barriers impeding effective women participation in the oil, gas and mining sectors.
The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonaya Orji, made this known in a statement signed on Wednesday by the organization’s Head, Communication and Advocacy, Obiageli Onuorah, to commemorate the International Women’s Day, 2023.
While reaffirming the commitment of NEITI to work with women to remove structural barriers that impede women, girls, and other vulnerable groups from participating in sustainable natural resource management and other potential gender impacts of extractive activities, he said notable non-governmental organisations have been identified as key allies to NEITI to drive the process.
He listed them to include Extractive360, Women in Extractive, Women in Mining in Nigeria, Association of Professional Women Engineers in Nigeria (APWEN), National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Spaces for Change, Centre for Transparency and Accountability, CSR-in-Action, Kabetkache Women Development and Resource Centre amongst others.
“These are organizations in the sector, driven by reputable Women with track records gathered overtime in the extractive sector reforms and governance,” Dr. Orji said, while renewing the call for a deliberate policy to broaden women participation in the oil, gas and mining industries.
The Executive Secretary disclosed that data on gender from the NEITI’s last Solid Minerals Independent Industry Reports shows that out of 102 companies covered by NEITI process, only 29 companies provided information and data on gender participation and employment opportunities in relation to women. And from the report, out of the 5,820 employees, only 14% of them were women.
Expressing regret over the development, Orji stated that despite the enormous potentials and capacity of Nigerian women in skills acquisition, sound education especially in the mining and geo-sciences, the oil, gas and mining industries are still being wrongly perceived as business for men, adding that the ratio of men to women in terms of investments participation, job opportunities and beneficial ownership of oil and gas assets are even worse.
Dr. Orji further announced that NEITI has just concluded a scoping research study on enhancing gender equity and inclusiveness in managing the country’s diverse extractive sector and the environmental impact to women and their livelihoods.
The study focused on the impact of mining in communities through the prism of gender inclusivity and impact, as well as employment opportunities, ownership structure and the implications for decision making and benefit sharing for women in the mining industry.
While stating that both reports, he said, will be released before the end of March, 2023, Dr. Orji praised the valued contribution of Nigerian women, urged women across the country to take interests in the NEITI reports and use the contents to demand a just, fair and active gender equity in natural resource governance in Nigeria.
Extractive360 reports that the Theme for this year’s IWD is “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality.” The IWD is celebrated annually on March 8 and raises attention to issues impacting women, such as gender equality, reproductive rights, violence and abuse against women.