Anglogold Ashanti to prioritise women empowerment in operations  

Anglogold Ashanti to prioritise women empowerment in operations  

Management of Anglogold Ashanti are making a deliberate effort to pay extra attention to women’s representation in mining work, and also to make the work environment conducive for them at Anglogold Ashanti.

This, management believes, will give women opportunities equitable to men and also empower them financially.

Speaking to Business & Financial Times during a ceremony to commemorate 16 days of activism against Gender-based violence at the AGA Obuasi Mine, Managing Director Dr. Eric Asubonteng revealed that there are policies which guard automatically against workplace gender-based issues – including harassment and other forms of violence against women. He explained that deliberate steps are in place for the rapid advancement of women in AGA.

“In AGA, we have made very deliberate efforts to ensure that we increase the representation of women within our workforce,” he stated – adding that just five years ago women represented only 4% of AGA’s workforce, a situation that has changed to over 11%. He admitted that even this is inadequate, as more and more qualified women are being deliberately targetted and recruited into the human resource pool of AGA.

Dr. Eric Asunonteng recounted how important and personal gender issues are to him, and also explained how efforts are being made to empower women in Obuasi and its surrounding towns. He said setting up the Obuasi Enterprise Development Centre and another dedicated programme that trains women and helps them build their capacities are further testimonies of how AGA prioritises gender issues. He further gave assurance that more resources will be channeled into such causes with the introduction of AGA’s new ten-year Social Management Plan.

Eunice Mensah, a Political Affairs and Human Rights officer at UNFPA Ghana who was part of a panel discussion called for a more focused effort at operationalising gender-based laws in Ghana. She explained that although the law has its own inherent gaps, the main problem had to do with implementation.

“We have already put in place certain mechanisms – like the DV shelter and DV fund – to address gender-based issues and provide the much-needed relief in many of these cases. But because there is no operationalisation of what we have meticulously written in our laws, it is not working as it should. So, I feel that what is on paper should catch up with the reality,” she stated.

For his part, Executive Director of AGA Health Foundation, Dr. Kwadwo Anim, said an alarming amount of women die yearly from intimate or partner-based violence. He explained that a lot of women lose their self-confidence and their potential to make an impact in society. “One of the worst scenarios is where they consider suicide as a solution,” he explained – and added that these problems affect the victims, their families, their work and eventually leads to an imbalance which results in morbidity and/or mortality. He also made a case for abused children and encouraged all to speak up against gender-based violence.

The moderator for the panel discussion, Ama Duncan – Founder of Fabulous Woman Network, commended the leadership of AGA for commemorating the Day, as according to her, “very few organisations take it upon themselves to do so”. She encouraged women not to be overly-dependent on men because financial vulnerability constitutes a factor for gender-based violence.

The 16 days of activism against Gender-based violence is under the theme ‘Orange the world: End Violence against Women Now!’



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