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

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory 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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid