Business News of 2014-03-12

Ensure gender balance in oil & gas industry - FIDA

The Federation of International Women Lawyers (FIDA) has called on stakeholders to ensure gender balance and equity in the oil and gas industry.

“All laws governing the oil and gas industry should be gender sensitive,” it demanded.

The call formed part of recommendations made by the FIDA after its national oil and gas legislative and institutional survey conducted in collaboration with ABANTU Development.

Enhance capacity

At a media sensitisation programme in Accra to enlighten journalists on gender-based issues in the oil and gas sector, a member of the FIDA, Mrs Jane Harriet Quaye, said women needed to be abreast of and equipped with the laws, policies, regulations and issues concerning the oil and gas industry.

Through deliberate efforts to enhance the capacity of women, she said, women would be able to participate efficiently in the oil and gas sector to ensure gender balance and equity.

“There should be equal representation of both women and men on decision-making bodies in the oil and gas industry,” she said.

Gaps

According to Mrs Quaye, the survey revealed that there were gender gaps in the policies and laws governing the sector.

For instance, she said, there was lack of equal representation of women in decision-making positions, including the various boards, in the sector.

Citing an example, she said the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011 (815) described how petroleum revenue should be collected, spent and invested in order to maximise benefits for citizens.

Under Section 31(1) of the act, the investment advisory committee is composed of seven members, at least one of whom should be a woman.

That, she said, was “not equitable and smacks of insensitivity. If the act follows the Affirmative Action Policy, then the board should be comprised of at least 40 per cent women”.

While admitting that the oil and gas sector was new to the country, Mrs Quaye said there were no explicit welfare or compensation provisions for women and children, and no policies in place to ensure gender-sensitive workplaces.

Source: graphic.com
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