Hwange Colliery Company calls for negotiations with Protesting Hwange Women
The Hwange Colliery Company Limited (HCCL) Acting Managing Director finally engaged protesting Hwange women, committing to provide business training and start-up support to enable them to start income generating projects. HCCL spouses have since left the tent where they have been camping for 117 days, and their spouses have received their monthly salary for May 2018 since 2013.
Hwange Colliery Company Limited management have since signed a contract to help the women start self-help business ventures. The women are going to go through a training on business leadership and entrepreneurship meant to impart knowledge on how to run small businesses such as poultry, piggery and sewing.
WLSA-Zimbabwe is pleased that the demonstration is over and the women are back in their homes.However, the agreement depicts how unequal power dynamics exist between corporate and mining communities.The Hwange women’s petition demanded a bare minimum of $5000 of what is owed to them but this agreement does not address these issues.The mine has in essence only yielded to start paying salaries to workers and the 2,6% scheme of arrangement.The women right’s issues pertaining to health,environmental degradation,education and gender based violence were in essence not attended to at all.
WLSA-Zimbabwe worked in solidarity with the women during the demonstration, which started on the 29th of January 2018. We are confident that through the legal battles with the mine and legal education on women rights the women are better placed to promote and protect their rights.The women have expressed in the agreement that if the HCCL fail to fulfil its commitment the women will go back to camp at the company premises.
Economic Empowerment is critical to empower women from over dependancy on their male counterparts.WLSA- Zimbabwe, therefore appreciates that the company after a long drawn out standoff has at long last reached out to the women with humane.
The ability of Hwange women to organise themselves and speak with one voice is a huge milestone in terms of women building agency and women holding duty bearers to account.
WLSA- Zimbabwe continues to advocate for gender justice in natural resource governance through making the mining laws and policies more gender responsive.However, we therefore call upon HCCL to be a responsible corporate citizen by ensuring they fulfil the commitments they have made to these vulnerable women.
Women in Law in Southern Africa Zimbabwe
16 Lawson Avenue
Follow us on twitter- @wlsazim and like our Facebook page – Women in Law of Southern Africa Zimbabwe.
Making the Law work for women