Sunday, November 28, 2010

What About The Women?

For people living in the developing world, not only is regular day to day life hard, but when living in a mining community, things can be even more difficult, especially for the women. While the men are out in the mines working, the woman's responsibility is to gather and provide the food and water for their families. But when the food and water are contaminated, the women have to travel considerable distances to find safe resources.  By spending most of their time wandering around in search for nourishing and non-poisoned food and water, they have less time to take care of their other responsibilities and chores.

In many countries, women aren’t allowed to own any land or have any say in community affairs. This gives the men all the power and leaves the women underprivileged. In the most unfortunate circumstances, if a woman’s husband and/or son is killed, the woman will be left with no land, no income, basically nothing.  

Not only do the women have no rights to land, they also rarely have any employment opportunities.  In the developing world, women are usually placed in the fields to farm, but when the farms are torn up so the land can be mined, the women are left jobless. If the women are lucky enough to snag a clerical job within the mining companies they are often sexually harassed and discriminated against by their male coworkers.

It is important not to forget that while mining is usually a “man’s job”, women are often just as affected as men by the harmful consequences.

Stacy Allen

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