AngloGold Ashanti Ghana, Obuasi Mine has reaffirmed its commitment towards empowering women and championing the cause of women, especially in its operational areas.
The company made this firm commitment when it hosted a women empowerment program at the Knust- Obuasi campus to commemorate the 2023 edition of International Women’s day.
International Women’s Day is a global holiday celebrated annually on March 8 as a focal point in the women’s rights movement, bringing attention to issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence and abuse against women
The celebration also serves as a call to action for gender equality and the empowerment of women globally.
Speaking at the event, the Managing Director of AngloGold Ashanti Ghana, Obuasi Mine Eric Asubonteng emphasized the company’s policy of leaving its host communities in a better state after operation. This, he noted, cannot be achieved without including women in their activities, which is why both males and females are involved in the activities of the Mine.
He pointed out that women constitute approximately 52% of the population and hence cannot be ignored when dealing with developmental issues, stressing that International Women’s Day is particularly important to AngloGold Ashanti as they are committed to focusing on the development of women.
Touching on the theme for this year’s celebration“Embrace Equity” Mr Asubonteng stressed that although the mining industry is mainly dominated by men, AngloGold Ashanti has made significant strides in increasing the female workforce from 4 to 11% since the start of the redevelopment project in 2018, creating a more conducive working environment.
He added that the company has also increased maternity leave from three to four months, redesigned uniforms to be suitable for women, and provided female washrooms and changing rooms to ensure a comfortable and inclusive work environment. AngloGold Ashanti also encourages women to apply for roles they are capable and competent in filling, as opportunities are available and open to women.
“AngloGold Ashanti has established the Enterprise Development Center at Obuasi Anyinam, where 300 women are trained in their skill development. The Leadership Workshop, established by AngloGold Ashanti, has also trained women in the community to develop leadership skills. Graduate Training and Youth Apprenticeship programs have also seen increased participation by women, with the company committed to continuing this approach and strategy”, he averred.
On her part, the Social Development and Gender Superintendent Mavis Nana Yaa Kyei acknowledged that women face challenges in the industry, such as work-life balance, but AngloGold Ashanti is making significant efforts to address this issue. These efforts demonstrate the company’s commitment to gender equality and the importance of celebrating International Women’s Day.
Ms Esther Aniful, a Senior High School student who attended the program, revealed that she gained valuable knowledge from the program that changed her mindset, empowered her, and opened her eyes to numerous opportunities available to women.
“My participation in the program has emboldened me to take on new challenges and pursue her goals with confidence”, she added.
Asurufie Dorcas, a junior high school student who also attended the program also narrated her experience. She divulged that she discovered how women are capable of holding high-level positions such as bank managers, engineers, and other professions. She recognized that traditional gender roles and beliefs around motherhood and house chores have often limited women’s opportunities to advance in their careers. Dorcas expressed her hope that one day a woman would be elected as the president of the country, highlighting the importance of gender diversity and equity in leadership roles.
In an interview with the SRC Women’s Commissioner of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ms Christiana Acheampong, she emphasized the importance of recognizing and encouraging women to make significant contributions to their communities. She also encouraged men to participate in programs that promote gender equality and to support women’s advancement. Ms Acheampong stressed the importance of hard work in securing higher positions in various organizations, and she urged women to maintain good moral values, particularly on social media, and to conduct themselves with discipline in all aspects of life to build a positive reputation. Ms Acheampong’s key takeaway from the program was to let one’s actions speak for themselves.
SOURCE: Sampson Manu ISD