Tuesday, 4 August 2015

This is that time of the year... No! of every five years

It is that  time of the year...no,  of every five years when we get to see and hear all kind of promises. Even though i live in this part of the country where most "progressed"  people have named it with every sophisticated, names such as remote area, rural, peripheral of the rural, marginalized areas, etc, we get to pay few shillings to watch news on back and white  TV. Because it is the time when politicians come to us and tell us all sort of lies on how they will help us upgrade our mining technology, how easily we will be accessing mining tools, how they will make available funds for women miners, how we will sell our gold and diamond and Tanzanite in China, America and London, how we will get to travel to those big cities, flashing out our gemstone and we will surely have someone buy all of them from us. What a lie!

It is that time when  they actually, not only promise how they will "help" us, but also promise how the mining economy will change the country. They say that revenues from the mining will benefit our country. They have these numbers of shillings in their heads but when you ask them how will this translate into my life... the answer is remarkably stupid (sorry for the S bomb). As a woman miner, i do not only ask where does this money go, but i also ask how am i protected from billion effects of mining. I do not only ask how  do i benefit from oil and gas extracted from my area, but  i also ask how does this extraction affect me as a woman.  These are kind of question we really need to ask at this time of the year.

Test for their political will from   beginning, test for their integrity, test for their knowledge, test for their understanding. And more importantly, test how much they value women and understand women issues, how women and gender are priority, how will they go beyond numbers and put up lies which they can be easily get away with. This is that time when we can easily call all the shots and   get away with it. Do not throw it away...

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Changing Our Name... Defining our Brand...Keep Connected!


We are Currently in the process of changing our name and defining our brand. we will be known as Women in Extractives instead of Women in Women. This is done purposely so as to build a network of diverse groups, by bringing in more voices from different backgrounds. The name "Women in Extractives Tanzania" is more inclusive, with a space to share broad ideas on extractive industry including petroleum and mining.

We however understand that the previous name Women in Mining Tanzania is important brand where women from mining communities could associate with, it restricts women from other regions who are facing negative impacts of extractives to engage   and present their  voice.

We will soon launch our website with the brand, register our movement with relevant authority and bring in diverse voices from diverse background.

Keep connected and support our movement

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Oil and Gas Impacts on Gender- The Missed Point

It is very common now days that when you  flip on newspaper pages, listen to the radio, watch TV or read an article online you find information on how oil and gas are useful resources in transforming the country's economy. It is also very common to find that these debates and discussions provide a reader with hopes  that the sector will provide employment opportunities, contribute to the availability of reliable electricity supply, enhance women's lives by providing cooking gas and the list may go on. These prospects a often does not cover the  gender impacts of the sector such as lost of livelihoods in which women depend due to the land acquisition processes, environmental impacts which affect rural communities, spread of HIV/AIDS due to population influx, violence against women, and so forth.

These discussions are missing   women's participation in the sector, and how gas development may have a possible impacts on gender in the Tanzanian context. Natural Gas Policy of 2013 provides that "The Government provides equal opportunities to all citizens of the country. However, most of such opportunities are usually dominated by men. Active participation of female in the natural gas industry is thus encouraged. Natural gas industry development is likely to have different impacts on women, men, children and vulnerable groups. The use of natural gas for cooking in households relieves female from wasting time searching for firewood and indirectly improves health due to better kitchen environment that is free from smoke and soot."

From this point, although the GoT understand that there is inequality in terms of accessing opportunities, still it gives women the position in the kitchen by making cooking gas available for women Also  in this policy, the government is "Encouraging" women participation in the sector instead of Empowering women to participate, the same strategy that is still used in the mining sector.

The natural gas impacts on gender may not be mitigated by providing cooking gas for women, instead specific mitigation strategies should be in place to ensure that women are benefiting equally like their male counterparts while reducing possible negative impacts on women. Specific measures to ensure that women are accessing training opportunities that will enable them to engage in the sector, as well as ensure a mandatory women space both in the policy making processes and administrative arena should be a serious priority.

Oil and gas companies while adhering to  gender needs, should go beyond counting number of  women and men employee, but rather look at the specific issues and challenges that face women in  and around the company. This should look at the women participation and benefiting during the compensation processes,  the availability of resources  within the companies between women and men, set the code of conduct to  their employees on how they should treat women in and outside work, adhering to environmental standards that otherwise would affect women and provide information on health issues that may affect women as a a result of their work

CSOs in Tanzania, which is mainly consist of few elites discussing the same prospects of oil and gas to Tanzania economy is lacking consistency and women representation. Although women movement in Tanzania is said to be strong, there is either lack of knowledge or will to engage in the sector so as to amplify voices and working with others to "get it right" from the beginning. The CSOs space in extractive  as wide as it is,  may be also closed for women to participate, and this is not only number of women who are participating but women organizations presenting gender issues within the sector.


Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Lawyers Say Barrick Thwarts Access to Justice for Victims of Violence (what about women)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

(Ottawa) New evidence is emerging that Barrick Gold’s dealings with victims of violence by mine security and police at mine sites in Papua New Guinea and in Tanzania is primarily designed to protect the company from legal action, rather than to provide fair remedy for women who have been raped and men who have been hurt or killed by mine security.

Lawyers who represent victims of violence at the Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and at the North Mara mine in Tanzania are speaking out.

On Friday, U.S.-based EarthRights International released documents that reveal how the compensation process Barrick has put in place at the Porgera mine to deal with victims of rape by the company’s mine’s security trades inadequate benefit packages for a promise never to sue Barrick. Documents reveal that women who reject the packages or ask for other forms of remedy are being turned away by the program.

“Some of the women felt they had no choice but to accept the benefits offered,” said Marco Simons, Legal Director of EarthRights International (ERI), which represented dozens of women in the process. “One of our clients told us how she was brutally beaten, cut with a knife and raped by more than 10 Barrick guards, left unable to have children, and then abandoned by her husband and ostracized by her community. She was angered by what the Remedial Framework offered. But she felt she could not reject the benefits because she needed medical treatment; her injuries still made it painful for her to walk.”

“Some of our clients did, however, refuse the benefits,” added Simons. “As far as we know, the only women who refused to sign Barrick’s legal waiver were those represented by ERI – in other words, those who thought they might have other options.”
In a visit to Ottawa on November 6, 2014, Shanta Martin, a partner at UK-based law firm Leigh Day, spoke out about the firm’s Tanzanian clients who are pursuing claims against African Barrick Gold (now called Acacia Mining) and its Tanzanian subsidiary in the High Court of England and Wales for deaths and injuries they claim were a result of the excessive use of force by mine security and police, including the frequent use of live ammunition. 
In its press release Martin said, “Impoverished people from remote rural villages who sue multinational companies often face incredible obstacles to having their claims heard by an independent arbiter,” said 
Martin. “Our clients naturally expect companies that say they are transparent and supportive of human rights to live up to those claims.” 
As in Papua New Guinea, Barrick’s North Mara mine in Tanzania has implemented a compensation process to deal with victims of excessive violence by mine security. And as in PNG, victims of violence have to sign away their right to sue the company in return for compensation, however inadequate. MiningWatch Canada and UK-based Rights and Accountability in Development (RAID) conducted a human rights assessment at the North Mara mine in July and August and found that the mine’s compensation program is not transparent, not independent of the company, that the compensation being offered is neither appropriate nor reflective of the deaths and serious harm that victims have suffered, and that it is not what the victims themselves said they need to overcome the harm. 

MiningWatch and RAID also found that clients of Leigh Day were being targeted by North Mara mine personnel to persuade them to drop their law suit in return for this inadequate compensation. 
In its release, Leigh Day confirmed that many of their clients stated they had been specifically targeted to forgo their legal claims and sign up to the mine’s grievance mechanism.

“The PNG and Tanzanian cases clearly demonstrate an abuse of so-called project level grievance mechanisms to ensure legal immunity for Barrick at a high cost to the victims of violence,” says Catherine Coumans of MiningWatch Canada. “It is questionable whether company-led project-level  grievance mechanisms should even be dealing with criminal acts by mine security, but if they do they should absolutely not result in legal waivers that create barriers to access to judicial remedy.”

Both the Government of Canada and the Mining Association of Canada are currently drafting guidance for the use of project-level non-judicial grievance mechanisms. The issue is also front and centre at the upcoming UN Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva in December.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

TAWOMA holds workshop prior the Annual General Meeting

The guest of honor,the deputy mineral commissioner officiating the meeting

Women miners from across Tanzania Participated in the workshop prior the Annual general meeting

Meeting participants

The guest of honor watching women miners works. Here, he is watching how the mineral cutting machine works. he promised to support women miners to buy an advanced machine so that it boosts their livelihood

Copper Mining: A woman miner showing the samples of copper rocks which she mines. She poses the challenge of lack copper processing plant in Tanzania which forces them to sell it raw at very low price

Shamsa,  a woman miner showing how the mineral cutting machine works

Guest of honor watching the women miners works

Mrs Eunice Negele, a current chaiperson of TAWOMA inviting the guest of honor to officiate the meeting