Kamituga is a small town in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is famously known for its mining activities and it is around an area where its mineral resources are worth trillions of dollars. Ironically, DRC still experiences a very low GDP despite the vast wealth.
The Experience Of The Congolese Women In DRC
The women do a lot of work around the mining site. A group of women walk up a steep slope from a deep valley through a slippery surface of mud with a lot of stones. They go to the Kamituga mining site.
They carry a huge load whereby they lean their backs forward to support them carry the heavy loads. Most of the women are barefoot while others wear sandals that are in bad condition.
From all these scenes witnessed, we see how much these women suffer and turn to ‘donkeys’
There are categories of women who work in the site, there are those whose work is to carry the stones through the tough terrain which is long and tiring. These women are called the maman kasomba. The hardest part is that they are required to carry the stones in many trips in a single day.
The other category is of women called the maman twangaises. These will receive the stone and crush them to a fine powder. They ensure they grind the powder well in hope of getting some gold.
However, the work these women do is not well compensated for their hard work. This is injustice and violation of human rights which needs investigations to take corrective measures. Reports say that the women receive very few dollars, fewer than even 3 dollars.
The women comprise about 50% of the individuals involved in the mining activities. The men involved in the mining sector go to the caves to get the best stones with large deposits of gold.
They discard the stones with a lesser value of which the women strive to recollect hoping for gold deposits and carry them to the site.
Women who work in the mining site have taken a man’s role by being the breadwinners for their families. It is very unfortunate and disheartening to see how these women are underpaid, exploited, treated like donkeys and in unfair ways.
The Lessons Learnt From The Struggle Of These Women Working At The Site
From the experiences of Congolese women, we get knowledge in various sectors of life. The women who undergo all these pressure do not show any signs of being defeated but they are strong than expected.
This shows us the importance of women empowerment. The female gender is supposed to be prioritized just like the rest in many factors of life. They have equal rights just like every other human being and discrimination against them should be unacceptable.
The government of DRC is expected to look into these women’s way of life and carry out necessary measures that will favor and appreciate them.