Women in Zimbabwe are demanding that their government grant them concessions in the Marange diamond fields as part of its economic empowerment agenda.
However, Women in Mining, which includes women in small- to medium-sized mining enterprises, says that calls for access to Marange and other major mining concerns have so far fallen on deaf ears, reports the Voice of America.
The Women in Mining want shares in Marange, as well as in all sectors of the economy. To date, the government, through its Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, has partnered with Mbada Diamonds, Diamond Mining Company and Marange Resources to develop alluvial diamond concessions in Marange, alongside the Chinese Anjin Investments.
"If we cannot have concessions then the government should ensure that proceeds from diamonds are allocated to the development of women's projects," says Women in Mining Vice President Christina Matika, as quoted by Voice of America.
The Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines and the Zimbabwe School of Mines recently launched an affirmative action program allowing more female students at the institute to learn about mining.
Less than 10 percent of women on Zimbabwe are miners, according to the news source.