International Women’s Day 2017- In pursuit of alternatives to destructive extractives in Zimbabwe

International Women’s Day 2017- In pursuit of alternatives to destructive extractives in Zimbabwe

The month of March holds a special place in my heart as women from different backgrounds converge in order to share their successes, assess their shortfalls and collectively seek ways to strengthen their voices against retrogressive forces that hinder their realization of their basic rights. However, women in mining communities have little to celebrate within the Zimbabwean context, given the ever increasing discrimination against women in the recruitment of workers, increasing incidences of violence against women, limited food security options, coupled with unwanted pregnancies from foreign mine workers and the need for developing realistic alternatives to the destructive mining practices. This year’s international women’s day’s broader theme ‘women in the changing world of work’ is a call for civil society, government ,donors and the private sector to reflect on the working conditions of women employed in extractive industries. Further, the global call for women to #BeBoldForChange is a rallying point for women and men to show solidarity with marginalised women in mining communities whose voices have been silenced by the harsh conditions in their contexts, as state machineries have not played their part in improving the living conditions of women in extractive industries. It is also a call for stakeholders to focus on changing the lives of women not only working in extractive industries but also those living close to the mining companies. The Centre for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG) over the past two years engaged women leaders in the mining communities in the following districts (Bikita, Darwendale, Hwange, Penhalonga and Mutoko). Through support from Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa (OSISA), CNRG managed to train over sixty women...