Oil And Gas Sector: CSOs Advocate More Participation Of Women

Some civil society organizations (CSOs) have advocated for the effective inclusion and participation of women in the oil and gas sector.

This came to fore during a panel discussion of CSOs private sector, government and Women’s Organizations at a training in Oil and Gas programme held for women in Accra, last week.

The 5- day training, which was the first of its kind in the sub-region, was put together by Akina Mama wa Africa (AMwA) and the West African Civil Society Institute (WACSI), on the theme “Economic Justice for women”, which drawn 20 participants from 3 West African countries to deliberate on issues affecting the oil and gas sector and how women could be effective players in the sector.

There were representatives from STAR-Ghana; Abantu for Development; SEND Ghana; GIS; and the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP).

Mr. Nasir Mohammed Alfa, a Senior Energy Policy Manager at ACEP, ensuring economic justice must be the focus for all sectors of the economy including the Oil and Gas sector, in that women are not denied entry, access and effective participation, to enhance development.

He said women have good qualities, and when given the opportunity would help tackle the issues that have created lapses in the Oil and Gas sector.

Mr. Alfa said this could be achieved by empowering women to actively participate in governance; training more women and intensifying advocacy campaign and dialogue with policy makers.

He noted that more women must be trained in science and technology and other related fields so that they can occupy managerial positions in the Oil and Gas sector; stressing that “sidelining women in the Oil and Gas sector would draw the sector back”.

Adding her voice to the campaign, Mrs. Mary Tobbin-Osei, Deputy Programmes Manager for STAR-Ghana, reiterated that there must be an increased recruitment favours for women.

According to her, there was the need for the women groups to engage the stakeholders of the sector and finding out what they could do in their individual capacities to increase women participation in decision making.

She stressed that women groups must keep advocating on the issue for a long time to achieve success as “the stronger the voice, the better, and the greater the number, the better recognition”.

Mrs. Tobbin-Osei called on the participants to come together and work with a common interest in the sub-region, and to form a collective voice to be able to engage the various governments.

At the end of the discussion, it was held that:

• Gender in-equality is bad and that gender mainstreaming in the Oil and Gas sector is very possible.

• Gender equity in all sectors must be encouraged to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

• Women must be engaged in all areas – decision making, so that key issues affecting women, particularly mining, would be addressed; as level of engagement with the female counterpart is discouraging.

• Policies and framework should serve the interest of all sexes to improve the Oil and Gas Sector.

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