By Alois Vinga
OPAQUE mining contracts entered into by the government and shadowy companies continue to marginalise young women who are crowded out of the lucrative sector.
The anomaly is contained in a recent paper published by the Economic Justice Women Project (EJWP).
The study titled; “The Nexus Between Illicit Financial Flows In The Extractives Sector In Zimbabwe and Young Women” established there was “secrecy, opacity and extensive discretion” by political actors due to high-level corruption in the mining sector.
“Mining contracts remain secretive in Zimbabwe and there has been no implementation of progressive transparency provisions in the Constitution like section 315(2),” the paper reads in part.
“Communities or the oversight bodies like Parliament have no way of shaping mining contract negotiations except through local processes.”
The EJWP further revealed age and gender discrimination resulted in young women failing to participate in local consultation processes.
“From the perspective of the local community, the most useful information about employment, the contribution of a mining company to local development, and royalty payments are likely to be obtained through the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process.
“This process is applicable to all mining projects under the Environmental Management Act,” the paper observed.
The report also raised concerns of rampant illicit financial flows (IFFs) in the extractive sector, and the limited access by young women to diminishing economic empowerment grants trapping them in a cycle of dependency.
“The impact of IFFs and tax injustice in the extractive sector on young women are hinged on four pillars, namely rights, voice, place, and power. Patriarchy and ageism when combined place young women in the shadows where they are powerless.”