sharing in governance of extractive industries

Gender & Extractives round-up - 26 April 2018

I've started a fortnightly (ish) update of some of the most recent news about women, gender issues and the extractive sector. You can read the original post - with GIPHs and images - on my website: ampowell.net . Because of women's important role as environmental activists, I include in this update news from both those who see the current model of extraction as destructive, and those that seek to make improvements within the existing model. 

Goldman environmental prize winners announced

The Goldman environmental prize, which honours grassroots activists, has announced its 2018 winners. For the first time, the list is dominated by women activists, who won five of the six prizes (one for each inhabited continent). Winners include Afro-Colombian activist Francia Márquez, who successfully led the women of La Toma in a campaign to end illegal mining on their ancestral land. As part of this, she spearheaded a ten-day march of 80 women to Bogota where they protested in the streets for 22 days, before the government agreed to support the dismantling of illegal mining in La Toma.

The other recipients were:

  • Makoma Lekalakala and Liz McDaid, who successfully challenged the South African government's secret, multibillion nuclear deal with Russia.
  • Claire Nouvian, journalist turned activist, for leading a campaign against deep-sea bottom trawling which eventually saw the practice banned by the EU.
  • LeAnn Walters, who helped expose the Flint Water crisis.
  • Clean-energy advocate Nguy Thi Kanh for her work persuading the Vietnam government to reduce its coal dependency.
  • Manny Calonzo, who spearheaded a campaign in the Philippines to ban the use, production and sale of lead paint.

Thai court dismisses charges against women activists

In Thailand, a group of women facing more than five years in jail for their environmental activism saw charges against them dropped. The activists, all members of a community-based environmental group, had been charged for their involvement in a peaceful protest aimed at preventing the activities of a gold mining company. This is welcome news in a country where civic space has been shrinking since the military coup of 2014, with the junta passing laws restricting freedom of expression and assembly. (Charges against Thai activists dismissed, mining protest to go on, Rina Chandran; Thailand: Dismiss Charges Against Seven Women Environmental Defenders, Fortify Rights Thailand, Civicus Monitor).

Round-up of the rest

  • Feminists from around the world gathered in Ottowa this week to develop recommendations for this year’s G7, which is being hosted by Canada in June. The participants had a closed-door meeting with Prime Minister Trudeau where they shared their ideas, includingeverything from access to safe drinking water to the negative impact that extractive industries can have on women and girls.” The communiqué and final recommendations of the summit will be available in the coming days. Trudeau has made gender equality a central theme of this year's G7 meeting. National Post & Oxfam Canada
  • In Kenya, Reuben Okonda reports on the cultural norms that prevent women from mining gold, even when it sits on their own land. NewsDeeply
  • “Worth dying for?”, a short film exploring the aftermath of Berta Cáceres’ murder, has been nominated for a One World Media Award. Thomson Reuters Foundation
  • Indigenous women from North America, together with Swiss pensioners, held a protest outside the Credit Suisse and USB headquarters in Zurich to demand that banks stop financing oil pipelines. This action was organised by the Indigenous Women’s Divestment Delegation and the Swiss Klimaserioninnen. Greenpeace Switzerland

En serio? 

Expomin, Latin America’s biggest mining fair, neatly encapsulated the rhetoric/action divide when it opened with a “women and mining” panel… while at the entrance of the hall, promoters handed out coupons offering free drinks at local strip clubs. Bloomberg News

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