The Golden Line is an initiative of Simavi, Solidaridad and Healthy Entrepreneurs to economically empower women in and around artisanal and small-scale gold mining communities in Ghana and Tanzania.
Ghana is the second largest producer of gold in Africa. In Ghana, approximately half of the 250,000 people directly involved in artisanal and small-scale gold mines (ASGM), are women. The Golden Line is a 5-year programme working towards economic empowerment of these women living in and around ASGM in the Western Region of Ghana.
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Tanzania is the fourth largest producer of gold in Africa. In Tanzania, approximately 25 percent of all people directly involved in artisanal and small-scale gold mines (ASGM), are women. The Golden Line is a 5-year programme working towards economic empowerment of women living in and around ASGM in Geita district, Tanzania.
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Women of Gold
The Golden Line aims to contribute to the economic empowerment of women living in and around artisanal and small-scale gold mining communities in Ghana and Tanzania. The programme works towards improving the working conditions for women in these communities with a focus on the following three topics:
1. improved women’s positions
2. fair mining practices
3. gender-sensitive policies.
To improve the abilities for women to engage in economic activities, the programme will work on improved sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) and women-friendly health services, women’s improved access to and control over resources and recognition of the importance of gender equality within mining communities. The programme will also train women in safe mining and work with mine owners to make mines a better and safer place to work for women.
“I joined the women’s savings and loan group after the supervisor of the group came to my house and explained me about the Golden Line programme. I knew little about savings and loan groups and I was afraid to join. I feared that my property would be confiscated if I would take a loan. The supervisor however explained things well and convinced me to join the group. I realized that this group is different from other savings and loan groups because we get the opportunity to learn about important things such as family planning and business skills.
Zawadi Robert, member of women’s savings and loan group, Geita, Tanzania
“As a woman I wasn’t allowed to go to the mountain for mining and I was in a poor economical situation. The mine owners didn’t allow us to go there because they believed that the presence of women makes the gold disappear. Women who went there were insulted and abused.
The situation has changed since male miners, mine owners, and women miners received training in gender equality and the importance of women in mining by the Golden Line. Now, women, including myself, are going to the mountain and we are mining alluvial gold and collecting waste rock freely without violence”.
Monica Samson, chairperson VSLA group and community ambassador, Geita, Tanzania
Meet Samuel and some of his gender discussion group members. Samuel was trained by the Golden Line to establish and facilitate a men’s gender discussion group in his community. He decided himself to form a second discussion group of young men.
“I saw young men in my community starting to copy the violent behavior towards women that is common among older men in our community. I believe it is important to teach respect for women at a young age and create a new generation. I therefore decided to start an additional discussion group of young men. As a group we plan to jointly raise awareness on violence against women in our community”.
Meet the Mwandani women’s savings and loan group from Geita, Tanzania! They recently started their own business in grinding ore, rock from which gold can be obtained. They presented their business plan to government representatives during a meeting organised by Golden Line partner Women’s Promotion Center (WPC). After that the local government visited their group and decided to provide them with an interest free loan to purchase the blue ball mill.
Anna, leader of the Mwandani group: “After the first share out of our savings and loan group we started with buying stones. After that we expanded our mining business by renting a pit and a washing area. We are proud that we now also own a ball mill. We are going to divide the profit that we are making among the members of the group during the share outs.”
Creates opportunities for women to raise their voices, and increase their access to and control over resources.
Enables small-scale miners to apply best practices in the mines, in order to improve conditions and opportunities for women, as well as having benefits for all miners and the environment.
Provides tangible income generating opportunities by helping women to set up their own small-scale health business.