News / Africa

Tanzania Meeting Focuses on Protecting Women from Natural Resource 'Curse'

Women and their children walk to the river in the locust infested area in the Vakinankaratra region of central Madagascar, March 30, 2013.Women and their children walk to the river in the locust infested area in the Vakinankaratra region of central Madagascar, March 30, 2013.
x
Women and their children walk to the river in the locust infested area in the Vakinankaratra region of central Madagascar, March 30, 2013.
Women and their children walk to the river in the locust infested area in the Vakinankaratra region of central Madagascar, March 30, 2013.
Gabe Joselow
As many African nations experience new oil and mineral discoveries, and the process of extracting those resources gets underway, the effect on women often gets overlooked - and they tend to suffer the most from the so-called "resource curse." Society groups and government officials are now meeting in Tanzania to discuss a new way forward.
 
When waterways are polluted near mining and oil projects, women have to travel further to collect water. When land is seized to make room for a new mining project, women farmers frequently suffer the loss.
 
The premise of the two-day meeting that opened Thursday in Dar es Salaam is that women are disproportionately affected by the corruption, pollution and mismanagement that often goes along with the resource curse.
 
Making transformative improvements

Christine Musisi, the regional director for UN Women, one of the organizers of the event, said she hopes the meeting of minds will help open up a discussion that could improve lives across the continent.
 
“It’s quite a mix of people who are here to dialogue and consult on how we can make the extractive industry a more gender-responsive industry, which we believe will in turn transform extraction in Africa from a curse to a blessing,” said Musisi.
 
The meeting has brought together officials and activists from Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Sudan and other countries.
 
Faith Nwadishi is the Nigerian national coordinator for the civil society organization Publish What You Pay, which advocates for greater transparency in the industries. She said the negative impact of the oil business in her country “has a woman’s face.”
 
While Nigeria has made billions of dollars in the last two decades from oil production, it also has suffered extreme environmental degradation from spills and sabotaged pipelines, as well as massive corruption.

Getting community involvement

Nwadishi said the government has made efforts to include the communities more in the decision-making process, but she said even on the local level, the conversation is dominated by men.
 
She hopes this week’s meeting will encourage governments to rewrite laws to mandate the inclusion of women.
 
“What we have, we have 10 people around the table, nine of them are men, just one woman, just to have a woman’s face there, that’s not helping us. So if our laws are reformed along those lines you [can] have directives or plans that ensure that you [include women],” said Nwadishi.
 
The international director for Publish What You Pay, Marienke van Riet, said that with oil and minerals in high demand around the world, African governments have a strong hand to play when pushing the issue of gender rights.
 
“The West is in need of energy and raw materials, and if the African governments really play the contract negotiations well, make sure there is an equitable representation at those negotiation tables, it could really change and transform entire societies,” she said.
 
Van Riet said there is not much data available on women’s roles in the extractive industry, in terms of the impact on their lives, as well as their inclusion at the corporate level.
 
Participants at the meeting hope to agree on a plan of action to advocate for gender equality and to promote more research on the topic.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid