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A call to end myths that prohibit women from mining during their menstrual cycle – ZELA

By Business Reporter – Wednesday 11 March 2020

WOMEN IN MINING – (Mining Index) – WOMEN in Mining have expressed concern over traditional myths in some Zimbabwean communities that prohibit women from taking part in any form of mining during their menstrual cycle.

According to findings by the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA), certain Zimbabwean societies forbid women to mine during their monthly cycle.

“Myths and negative perceptions on women miners still exist in some sections and this has limited women’s participation,”

“At Stori’s in Mazowe, women are not allowed to participate in mining activities during their menstrual period. It is argued that transgressing this results in the disappearance of gold. These myths are a deliberate move to constrain women’s participation in sectors such as mining,” revealed Clarity Sibanda, ZELA Communications Officer, in a communiqué celebrating Women’s Day.

“As we celebrate the day, it is important that we work on dropping the stigma while ensuring that we dismiss these negative socially constructed ideas with the contempt they deserve,” she said.

The women’s history month is here, with the 2020 International Women’s Day theme, ‘An equal world is an enabled world,’ clearly portraying the significance of promoting gender equality and equity.

#EachForEqual is this year’s International Women’s Day’s campaign message which seeks to show that gender inequality is real and there remains a need to advance the goals of equality in the interest of all humanity.

According to the World Bank in its Gender Dimensions of Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining, women miners account for 50 percent of the artisanal and small-scale (ASM) mining workforce in Africa.

Sibanda added that the United Nations Sustainable Development (SDG) Goal 5 notes the intention to end all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.

“Let it be known to all and sundry that empowering women and girls must become a way of life,” she said .

The SDG on gender notes insufficient progress on structural issues at the root of gender inequality such as legal discrimination, unfair social norms and attitudes, decision-making on sexual and reproductive issues and low levels of political participation, are undermining the ability to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 5. ENDS//

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