In commemoration of the 2023 edition of the International Women’s Day, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has named Extractive 360, the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Spaces for Change (S4C), and other women-led organizations as allies in the fight against the barriers obstructing effective women participation in the oil, gas, and mining sectors.
NEITI’s executive secretary, Dr. Orji Ogbonaya Orji, reaffirmed NEITI’s commitment to working with women to remove structural barriers impeding women, girls and other vulnerable groups from participating in sustainable natural resource management and other potential gender impacts of extractive activities. He also listed notable non-governmental organisations as key allies to NEITI to drive the process.
These organisations include Extractive360, Women in Extractive, Women in Mining in Nigeria, Association of Professional Women Engineers in Nigeria (APWEN), National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Spaces for Change, Centre for Transparency and Accountability, CSR-in-Action, Kabetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, among others.
Orji expressed sadness over revelations from the NEITI’s last Solid Minerals Independent Industry Reports which showed that only 29 of 102 companies covered by NEITI’s process provided information and data on gender participation and employment opportunities for women. From the report, out of the 5,820 employees, only 14 per cent of them were women. Despite the enormous potential and capacity of Nigerian women in skills acquisition, sound education, especially in the mining and geosciences, the oil, gas and mining industries are still perceived as businesses for men. The ratio of men to women in terms of investment participation, job opportunities and beneficial ownership of oil and gas assets is even worse.
Orji further announced that NEITI has just concluded a scoping research study on enhancing gender equity and inclusiveness in managing the country’s diverse extractive sector and the environmental impact on women and their livelihoods. The study focused on the impact of mining in communities through the prism of gender inclusivity and impact, as well as employment opportunities, ownership structure, and the implications for decision—making and benefit sharing for women in the mining industry. Both reports will be released before the end of March 2023.
The theme for this year’s IWD is “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality.”
The IWD, celebrated annually on March 8, raises attention to issues impacting women, such as gender equality, reproductive rights, violence, and abuse against women. NEITI praised the valued contribution of Nigerian women and urged women across the country to take an interest in the NEITI reports and use the contents to demand just, fair and active gender equity in natural resource governance in Nigeria.