Female miners in Nasarawa seek end to sexual harassment, GBV


The Women In Mining In Nigeria (WIMIN), in collaboration with the Ford Foundation, has called on the Nasarawa State Government to urgently address the issues of sexual harassment and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) affecting female miners in the state.

WIMIN, a non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting women’s inclusion in Nigeria’s mineral exploration and mining sector, focuses on community engagement, research, capacity building, and strategic dialogue.

Speaking in Lafia on Monday at the opening of a three-day training for Service Providers on Sexual Gender-Based Violence, WIMIN President Janet Adeyemi, represented by Vice President Regina Edzuwah, lamented the increasing cases of GBV and other issues affecting its members and females across the 13 Local Government Areas of the state.

Adeyemi stated that female rights have been the most abused and neglected despite numerous awareness campaigns.

“In most mining sites and host communities in Nigeria, women are constantly abused, misused, over-laboured, underpaid, shortchanged, and even raped by the male labourers and staff of mining companies,” she stated.

She further pointed out the unlawful employment of young children in mining environments, stating, “The companies also unlawfully welcome the labour of young children who should not be exposed to the mining environment yet but should be in school.

“The children are stretched and over-laboured by mining companies and their wages are given to their mothers who are equally on the mining sites.”

She added that the training program, titled, ‘Eliminating Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Mining Host Communities’, aims to address GBV affecting females.

It will cover various critical topics, including understanding Sexual GBV, cultural and social norms influencing Sexual GBV, root causes and risk factors, legal framework and policies, survivor-centred approach, and trauma-informed care.

Adeyemi noted that the training is designed to enhance the capacity of service providers, including healthcare professionals, law enforcement officers, social workers, and community leaders, to provide effective support to Sexual GBV survivors and promote a coordinated community response.

She lamented that over 90 percent of WIMIN members had been sexually harassed by their male counterparts in the past year.

The Director of Public Defender at the Nasarawa State Ministry of Justice, Justina Allu, condemned the issues of sexual harassment, molestation, and gender-based violence in the state.

Allu revealed that her office had handled over 50 cases in the last six months and commended WIMIN for organizing the training program.

The Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Aisha Ibrahim, represented by the Director of the Women Affairs Department, Matayashi Aselema, welcomed WIMIN members and other stakeholders to the training.

She reiterated the state government’s commitment to addressing the issues affecting women in the state, including sexual harassment and gender-based violence.

Patience Sampson, a participant, thanked WIMIN for the opportunity to learn more about tackling sexual harassment and GBV, promising to put all that they learn into practice.

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