MoMP committed to increase female staff strength


KABUL (Pajhwok): The Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP) has stressed the need for an effective role of women in enhancing the capacity of mines’extraction sector and said women’s participation in the sector would helpimprove transparency and accountability.

“The role of women in the mining sector should be changed from symbolic to real, active and qualitative participation in the near future. We should have at least 30 percent female staff within the MoMP and its provincial departments,” acting Minister of Mining and Petrolume Narges Nehan said. 

Abdul Qadeer Mutfi, MoMP spokesman,told Pajhwok Afghan News the ministry was committed to creating an appropriate environment for responsible development of the mining sector where all citizens, including women, equally benefited.

He said in line with the decision of the ministry’s leadership, the role of women in capacity building of the mining sector should be converted into a real one instead of a cosmetic one and this commitment was being implemented.

He said currently over 11 percent of the ministry’semployees were women and the leadership of the ministry was committed to improving this number to 18 percent until the end of this year and up to 30 percent in the coming two years.

Mutfi said the presence of women in mining sector was in compliance with the National Action Plan for women and it would also helpwith regard to transparency and accountability as experiences of the past showed women did not involve in corruption on a large scale.

The National Action Plan for Women in Afghanistan (NAPWA) is a strategic plan of the Afghan government to improve women condition with greater security, protection of their rights, giving them greater opportunities in leadership, helping poor women, improving their economic situation, providing them with education and health facilities.

According to Mutfi, the government besides increasing women’s participation in the government, wasalso striving to encourage businesswomen to investment in the mining sector.

He said with support of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Mines and PetroleumMinistry was trying to facilitate women in order they were able to avail contracts of natural resources extraction.

He said capacity development schemes were also underway with support of the German organization GIZ.

Mutfi said short-term capacity development programs conducted by the GIZ helped improved women capacities at the ministry to a high level and these women were now ready to take on greater responsibilities.

Recently, 17 employees, including three womenand four men, from the Mining Department of Badakhshan provincecompleted a three-day workshop on dender role in mining.

According to a GIZ statement, the purpose of the workshop was improve the role of women in the mining sector.

The participants of the workshop discussed gender related maters such biasness with opposite gender and the concept of mutual respect and embodying gender in policies of the ministry.

The workshop shall help the participants avoid gender based biasness within the ministry and the ministry shall adopt policies to attract more women into its structure with support of the private sector in order to bring a new positive change.

One of the workshopparticipants, said: “An overall understanding within the ministry is that it is a men dominated sector and women should not enter this sector, but fortunately this workshop changed our perspective and will help encourage more women employees. ”

According to GIZ, since 2013, so far 21 short-term capacity building workshop had been organized for employees of thtepetroleum ministry involving 310 provincial employees.

Thirteen education scholarships were also provided to the petroleum ministry staffers to encourage the work of women employees in the ministry.

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