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sharing in governance of extractive industries

Women have been historically exposed to greater risks and captured fewer of the benefits of their engagement with the mining sector.  Taking a specific gender approach to mining should be built in throughout the mining cycle and can be particularly reinforced at the design stage of mining operations.

The mining industry can impact positively and negatively across the SDGs. Mining can foster economic development through the creation of employment, business development and increased revenues. Historically, however, mining has contributed to many of the challenges that the SDGs are trying to address such as environmental degradation, displacement of populations, worsening economic and social inequality, armed conflicts, gender-based violence and violations of human rights amongst others.

In terms of Gender Equality, especially SDG 5 on achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls and the 40 plus gender related targets provide a platform to support women´s empowerment in the extractive industry and mining sector.

EGP is currently supporting two projects in Mozambique and Colombia to strengthen gender equality in public administration of the mining sector.

In Mozambique, EGP is currently collaborating with UN WOMEN on a project on Gender, Environmental Governance and Mining. The overall aim of the project is to strengthen gender dimensions in the mining sector, particularly at the level of interventions and promoting a human right-based approach that can also deliver better governance in the mining sector, geared towards the SDGS.

In Colombia, we are currently developing a project to contribute to improving social-environmental conditions of women in mining contexts in the Chocó region in Colombia.  This project aims to identify entry points for governments to protect rights, prevent conflict and enhance women’s social, economic and environmental outcomes of mining this project by exploring the link between public administration of mining and building sustainable peace.

  • Do you have any specific experiences that you could share such as research reports, good practices, opportunities and challenges related to gender responsive intervention in the extractive sector?

  • Can you think of some of the reasons for integrating gender equality and women’s empowerment principles into broader human rights based environmental governance of the mining sector?

  • How are men and women differentially involved and affected by mining and the factors surrounding their engagement in mining? Is gender important? From your experience, what have been the risks/inequalities women have been facing relative to men? And why should we address these risks/inequalities?

  • How could we better incorporate women in decision-making bodies, from community to the national level and how could we empower women in the mining sector? Can you share any tools or techniques used in different countries on how to integrate gender equality principle into the mining process?

 

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Replies to This Discussion

Thanks for these interesting discussion questions. I would like to share a report that was published about a year ago by Oxfam: GENDER AND THE EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES: PUTTING GENDER ON THE CORPORATE AGENDA. https://www.oxfam.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/2016-PA-004-Min...

This paper takes an interesting approach by exploring why and how gender could be put on the corporate agenda. As you can see in the report, women face systemic discrimination in all phases of an extractive industry project. Often women are excluded from participating to economic benefits, especially because of gender-blind policies and practices in companies. In addition, extractive industry projects affect women and men differently. For example, the impact of these projects on quality and quantity of water tends to impact women and girls more than men, because women and girls are often responsible for water collection. When women have to travel further distances for potable water, it increases the hours women spend on unpaid care work. Finally, the paper includes some case studies that address the needs and interests of women in communities affected by extractive projects. Of those, I would like to highlight one: in Guatemala, women were seriously impacted by the Marlin gold mine.

The massive Marlin gold mine in Guatemala was established in 2005 without the free, prior and informed consent of the local Indigenous communities. The mine has been at the centre of conflict between the company and local communities ever since, and has at times been subject to blockage and protest. In 2010, the UN and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights called on the Government of Guatemala to suspend operations at the mine. Mining continues despite pollution, intimidation, violence and ongoing protest. Many of the leaders of the struggle against the mine are women. In one incident in 2008, protesting women were able to interrupt power supplies by hampering the cables passing through their lands — assumingly at great cost to the company. Some of the repression of indigenous activists has specifically targeted women, further escalating company– community conflict and external scrutiny of the mine.

It would be really interesting to hear in this group about experiences in other countries related to the needs and interests of women as well as indigenous communities affected by extractive projects. I get the impression that this is happening in many places, however information is somewhat limited on the effect of EI on women and indigenous people.

Dear Piet,

Thanks so much for your interesting contribution!

Protecting the needs and interests of women as well as indigenous communities affected by extractive projects in an important topic as part as our efforts to strengthen environmental governance of the mining sector and guarantee the rights for all groups and communities.

I added the  resource GENDER AND THE EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES: PUTTING GENDER ON THE CORPORATE AGENDA you shared with us on our GUIDELINES FOR COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT page.

Would be great to hear more in our community about other experiences related to indigenous communities/or women affected by extractive projects.

Warm regards,

Jasmin Blessing

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