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. As always, visit my site to see the post in full, or to subscribe to these round-ups.

News from around the world

  • Indigenous women are headed to Washington D.C. this week to highlight the importance of free, prior and informed consent for indigenous communities facing extractive projects.
  • Goldcorp and the non-profit Technoserve launched a programme to help support small businesses around the Peñasquito mine (Mexico). Recipients of the programme include two women who run a bakery; today the bakery makes more than US$5000 in sales, up from US$200 a month a couple of years ago. 
  • In this blog, Oxfam Canada’s Ian Thomson explains how Canada’s extractive sector fits into the struggle for gender justice, and touches on some of the projects the organisation is carrying out on this issue.
  • Women artisanal miners from five different communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo have joined forces, founding an association that aims to promote women’s rights. The association intends to increase women’s participation in decision-making regarding the extractive sector, and will also document cases of sexual violence in the communities.
  • Central American women met in Guatemala to share their experiences as activists and deepen their understanding of the impact of the extractive sector. This article covering the meeting includes an interesting section on the tools of resistance mentioned by participants.

Trial of Berta Cáceres’ killers suspended

  • The trial for the murder of Berta Cáceres – due to start on 17th September – was postponed following appeals by Cáceres’ family for the judges presiding the trial to be removed.
  • From the beginning, there have been concerns that this trial will fail to see justice delivered (see this article by Nina Lakhani for more information).
  • On Wednesday 25th Sep, Honduras’ criminal appeal court ruled that the judges will not be recused.
  • At this stage, a further five injunctions related to the trial need to be resolved and a new date set.
  • The reporter Nina Lakhani was made a target of an online smear campaign for her coverage of the trial.

Canada: Mining projects putting indigenous women at risk

The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada heard witnesses and experts speak of the harmful effects of extractive projects on indigenous women. At the Quebec City hearings, human rights workers explained how a combination of high pay-cheques and a “fly-in-fly-out culture" was jeopardising the safety of women and girls living near mining and energy projects. At the earlier hearings in Iqualuit, commissioners heard how “Inuit women could be exposed to violence and harassment in the wake of Nunavut resource development.” Resident TJ Lightfoot gave witness testimony relating the situation and stated that “indigenous women are shut up and shut out of consultation processes.”

The Nunavut Chamber of Mines responded to these allegations in a letter to the Nunatsiaq News, stating that “women are an order of magnitude safer at our mines than at home.” This, in turn prompted a submission from a community member claiming that the mining advocate was “dismissive of indigenous women.”


On the reading/to watch list

  • This blog by Open Heroines on how to make the open data movement inclusive is an important read. The principles of collecting and using gender disaggregated data, and of making the movement’s conversation gender-responsive, directly applies to our field of gender and the extractives.
  • “Warrior Women” explores the activism of Madonna Thunder Hawk, leader of the American Indian Movement and organiser of protests against the Dakota Access pipeline. This film uses Hawk’s life as a backdrop to examine the wider movement of activism among Native American women. You can see a trailer for the documentary, and read a review, here.
  • JASS and The Fund for Global Human Rights have produced a resource exploring some of the key issues relating to shrinking civic space. How do you defend rights in a hostile context? Check out their site to learn more.

Get involved!

  • What are the key issues for women human rights defenders? Fill out this survey on WHRDs (by 28th September) to contribute to the next report by Michel Forst, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders.
  • AWID is looking for your contributions to help commemorate WHRDs and activists who are no longer with us. Send your contributions by 28th September for them to be included in AWID’s seventh edition of WHRD Tribute, which will be launched on 29th November.

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