Golden Line programme partners in Tanzania have recently held a closing event at which they have celebrated the achievements of the programme in the past five years. The Golden Line is a joint programme of Simavi, Solidaridad and Healthy Entrepreneurs, active in the period 2016-2020 in Ghana and Tanzania. The women from the mines and mining communities working with the Golden Line were in the spotlight during this event. They jointly reflected on the programme achievements and changes they have observed as a result of the programme.
Photo above: Awarding of the Golden Line certificate of participation and some Golden Line programme souvenirs
Creating impact with the Golden Line
The Golden Line was launched in 2016 by Simavi, Solidaridad and Healthy Entrepreneurs to contribute to economic and social empowerment of women in and around artisanal and small-scale gold mines (ASM) in Ghana and Tanzania. This 5-year programme was designed to improve women’s working conditions and their economic position within gold mines. The Golden Line also works on increasing the ability of women in mining communities to engage in economic activities by improving their Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and their access to and control over resources.
“When the programme started, most of us women working in the mines were not allowed near the mine pits. We were regarded as witches, with bad luck because we are menstruating.’’
Mariam Bukelebe, a supervisor in the Mgusu mining community in Tanzania, shared at the closing event.
“Then the Golden Line came and Solidaridad trained the mine management on women’s rights for engaging in mining activities. Now we are freely going to the mine pits without any prejudice.”
Results of the programme
As a result of the programme, some positive developments for the women of the Golden Line include:
- 94% in Ghana and 92% in Tanzania indicated to see more opportunities for earning money thanks to the Golden Line.
- 70% in Ghana and 85% in Tanzania reported increased access to credit.
- 85% in Ghana and 53% in Tanzania experienced an increase in joint decision making on financial matters in their households.
- The percentage of men who accept women’s decision making on the number of years between children increased from 45% to 66% in Ghana, and from 26% to 42% in Tanzania.
- In Ghana, men’s acceptance of contraceptive use by women increased from 49% to 69%.
- In Tanzania, female mine workers report that verbal abuse has decreased, men treat women with more respect, and the atmosphere has improved in the mines.
During the closing event, Mwamba Chungu from the Katente Saccos mine was among the women who shared about the changes as a result of the Golden Line programme.
Moreover, through training sessions and discussion groups with both men and women in the mining communities, the Golden Line has contributed to debunking harmful myths about women, and ensuring that existing gender norms have become more female-friendly. As a result, women can now perform a greater variety of jobs than traditionally assigned to them because of their gender, including management and higher administrative positions.
VSLA and EA$E groups in Golden Line
At the closing event, our local Golden Line partners have also shared the achievements of the programme with everyone present, and awarded all the women from the mines and mining communities with certificates of participation. Moreover, the Golden Line partners presented 30 women of the Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA) with a certificate of their formal registration with the government. This opens up additional loan opportunities for the VSLAs and contributes to the sustainability of their group.
The women-only VSLA groups enable the women to collectively borrow, save and, after a few months, invest the money into a business. Learn more about the impact of VSLA groups in Golden Line:
Worldwide, between 8 and 25 million women work directly in artisanal mining, and even more women work and live in rural mining communities. We are committed to continue empowering women in artisanal and small-scale mining communities in Africa, but we can’t do it alone. Our ambition can succeed only if others join us to refine and fund the model.
This is a major opportunity for donors who want to directly contribute to impacting the lives of women. Building further on the results, experiences and lessons learnt over the past five years in working with women in artisanal mining communities, we can work together on scaling up the model to other communities.
The Golden Line (2016-2020) is funded by the Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women (FLOW) programme of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
For more information, please visit the Golden Line website.