sharing in governance of extractive industries

A regular round-up of the latest news and resources regarding the intersection between extractive governance, environmental justice, and gender issues. See the original post on my website.

News from around the world

  • Women in Turkana (Kenya) aren’t benefiting from oil extraction, reports The Conversation. Academics found that Turkana women had not been properly represented in decision-making processes between the company and community, and that they were “especially vulnerable to problems bought about by displacement.”
  • Earlier this month, the government of Colombia ratified a human rights policy for its mining and energy sector. The policy specifically mentions taking into account the needs of protected and vulnerable groups, as well as adopting a gender approach.
  • In the wake of OGP’s global summit in Georgia, Alfonsina Peñaloza reflects on how organisations and activists can work towards realising feminist open government… and mentions a few examples of how not to do it.
  • Prosecutors in the case against Berta Cáceres' alleged killers have failed to analyse "dozens of items" seized during raids, according to this Truthout article. For Cáceres' daughter this amounts to “a form of denial, of refusing to determine what is really behind the murder”.

How mining towns and oil booms can lead to increased sexual violence

When extractive projects trigger an influx of transient male workers and disposable cash, they often bring with them an increase in violent crime, including sexual violence and domestic abuse. Women, especially indigenous women, tend to be the most affected. Two recent stories explore the relationship between extractive booms and sexual violence:

  • This Reuters article highlights the links between illegal gold mining in Peru’s Amazonian region and child sex trafficking. The exploitation is also allegedly fuelled by a commonly held superstition “that having sex with a girl - especially a virgin - brings [miners] good luck.”
  • Rates of sexual violence on the Forth Bertholt reservation have increased by 168 per cent since the beginning of North Dakota's oil boom. “Nuuca”, a short film by Michelle Latimer, explores this oil boom - and the changes it brought about -  through the stories of three young indigenous women.

On Women Human Rights Defenders

  • For those of you who read Spanish, PIKARA Magazine dedicated its latest issue to the theme of women human rights defenders. Articles relate individual stories, such as that of Guatemalan activist Lolita Chávez, as well as exploring thematic questions including why alliances and a collective approach are necessary tools for protecting WHRDs.
  • Global Witness recently released their annual report on the killings of environmental and land defenders. One chapter, written by JASS, focuses on women human rights defenders and the gendered nature of the attacks they face.
  • The Guardian and Global Witness teamed up to create powerful portraits of nine environmental and land activists. They are each worth a read, but of particular interest with regards to our issue is the profile of Nonhle Mbuthuma, who, despite the dangers, fights for her community’s right to say no to mining. “I wake up each morning and thank god I am still alive.”

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