The African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (CentreLSD) has launched a BUILD grant for general support for lifting an intersectional approach to gender and natural resources management, and project support for institutional strengthening in the extractive sector.
In his speech at the launch in Abuja, the CentreLSD executive director, Mr Monday Osasah, said the fund, given by Ford Foundation, and being implemented by the centre was to sponsor more gender engagement in the extractive industry sector.
The CentreLSD program coordinator, Mrs Victoria Udoh, who spoke at a conference later decried what she termed systemic discrimination and alienation of women in the sector, restating the centre’s commitment to work with government to reform the sector.
“In Nigeria, women face systemic discrimination in all phases of the extractive industry. The entrenched gender bias not only prevents women from engaging and accessing economic benefits but also manifests in how companies and governments engage with communities at all stages of extractive activities.
“The Mineral Mining Act 2007 which guides processes and procedures in the sector is gender blind, and as a result, company-community consultation and decision-making are done in alienation of women and their perspectives. The result is increasing gender inequality and the further disempowerment of women,” she said.
According to her, the centre in sync with government’s determination to reform the extractive industry and diversify revenue sources to include non-oil revenue, implemented the strengthening civil engagement and advocacy for effective natural resource governance in Nigeria project.
She added that the aim was to mobilise citizens to participate in the governance of natural resources for the mineral sector to contribute significantly to the gross domestic product, contending that emphasis was not placed on the gender dimensions of the impact and benefits of the extractives on humans as the effects on men vary from effects on women and children during the implementation of the project.
“To address these anomalies, CentreLSD is implementing a grant, still in the extractive sector, specifically looking at how to integrate gender in its extractive work. To lay foundation and baseline for this new intervention, the centre is commissioning a research on the forms and prevalence of gender-based violence in the extractive sector in Nigeria. This research will lay the basis for advocating for women’s inclusion and participation in the governance of natural resources in Nigeria,” she stated.
Udoh listed the goals of the grant to include building a strong and resilient organisation that would contribute to the elimination of all forms of gender-based violence in the extractive sector in the country. The project has two folds, institutional strengthening interventions and programmatic interventions, among others