monitoring mines for health and safety reasons, using drones, and financially using online systems," she said
A number of institutions presented and highlighted the programming challenges they faced during the lockdown in 2020. ZIDAWU shared how they utilised the WhatsApp platform to continue monitoring the mines they could not physically visit.
It was also highlighted that other institutions like ZELA created BOTS on accessing environmental and mining laws online. They also trained community monitors in Shurugwi to note issues like community ownership shares and what that was utilised for. Technology was playing a critical role in information dissemination in communities at the time.
Speaking at the same event Fadzai Midzi from ZELA said the Gender symposium was a platform to empower the marginalised in the extractives. At the same time, she highlighted that women are left behind. There is a need to empower them to break the bias by utilising digital technology.
She noted that it is important for women miners to understand innovation and know how to utilise it.
Tracy from Centre for Natural Resources Governance presented on the experiences of women employed by mining companies and some of the challenges they face such as unfair labour practices, sexual exploitation and child labour practices amongst others.
Tracy also highlighted that women living in mining communities face environmental degradation, pollution displacement and gender-based violence.
"While cyber bullying was rife, cultural restriction and poverty are also rife in hindering using technology, there are benefits in utilising it. Civil society institutions are utilising it to advance women’s digital activism, mobilising women in digital activism and increasing online engagement e.g. Hashtag activities, #howfar? #Thisflag these have forced the duty bearers to respond," she said.
The symposium was attended by women miners, women living in mining communities, entrepreneurs, Ministry of women affairs, Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, Zimbabwe Miners Federation, Zimbabwe School of Mines and CSOs.