The Federal Government of Nigeria plans to revoke the Section 56 of the Labour Law that makes it illegal for women to work in the mines.
This was disclosed in volume 2 of the National Development Plan 2021-2025.
Section 56 of the Nigerian Labour Law, titled ‘Underground work’, states, “Subject to subsection (2) of this section, no woman shall be employed on underground work in any mine.”
However, there were some exceptions, which include women assuming positions of management who do not perform manual labour; women employed in health and welfare services
Women who in the course of their studies spend a period of training in underground parts of a mine or any other women who may occasionally have to enter the underground parts of a mine for a non-manual occupation.
The aim of the government is to encourage a sustainable and gender-inclusive minerals sector, ensuring that more women participate in the mining sector.
The government plans to not only “repeal section 56 of the Labour Law that prohibits women from working in mines” but to also “increase the share of females in different streams of the mining sector through training and recruitment.”
In the NDP, it was stated in a tabular illustration that the share of women in the mining labour force is 25-35 per cent, and the government plans to move it to 50 per cent by 2025. The government also plans to establish a women’s fund to support women’s development in the mining industry.