Zimbabwean women are demanding concessions in the Marange diamond fields as they continue to call for economic empowerment and advancement.
Women in Mining, which includes women in small to medium mining enterprises, says the government should allocate claims in Chiadzwa, in the eastern part of the country, to women. The group says calls for access Marange and other major mining concerns have so far fallen on deaf ears.
The government has partnered with companies from South Africa, China and others in joint ventures that many say have largely short-changed locals, including women.
Vice president Christina Matika of the group Women in Mining says members want shares not only in Chiadzwa but in all sectors of the economy.
"If we cannot have concession then the government should ensure that proceeds from diamonds are allocated to the development of women's projects," said Matika.
The Zimbabwe Chamber of Mines and the Zimbabwe School of Mines recently rolled out an affirmative action program allowing more female students at the institute to learn about mining.
Less than 10 percent of women on Zimbabwe are miners in an industry largely dominated by men.
Chairwoman Virginia Muwanigwa of the Women’s Coalition says women's groups in the country are united in calling for more empowerment initiatives, but she adds the government’s response has been disappointing so far.
"It is true whatever support is availed to people in a country depends on the resources of that country to the extent that resources may be available that determines if people access those resources," said Muwanigwa. "But we would agree to say that more could have been done to avail resources to women."