Gender and the extractives – a quick look back at the past year

calendarAround this time last year, Publish What You Pay started looking more closely at the issue of gender, transparency and the extractives. In partnership with UN Women, we kicked off with a joint workshop in Tanzania to develop a common way forward between practitioners working on gender and those working on extractives. As part of this workshop, we created a gender-responsive version of our value chain. We wanted to highlight how the question of gender intersects the goal for transparency and accountability at every step of the value chain. If we want all citizens to benefit from their natural resources, we must ensure that women are being taken into account too.

Shortly after the workshop, we widened the discussion to others in a live-chat edit of this value chain. We are currently working on developing a more shareable and engaging format for the chain, so watch this space!

So, what else has happened over the past year in the field of gender and the extractives? This round-up is very far from exhaustive, so if you have anything to add in the comments please do so!

UN Women Eastern and Southern Africa continued their work on the extractives, hosting a virtual meeting in December on gender equality in the extractive equalities. UN Women ESARO was also invited as a panelist to the 3rd African Union Conference of African Ministers Responsible for Mineral Resources Development in Maputo, providing the opportunity to highlight the need for integrating gender in the extractive industry sector.

An incredibly exciting project was launched in October: Womin. Womin, hosted with IANRA in South Africa, offers a platform of solidarity and co-operation for movements and civil society organisations working on extractivism and women’s rights in Africa.

Already, Womin has undertaken in-depth research exploring a range of themes surrounding extractivism and women’s rights – from the impact of extractivism on Women’s bodies, sexuality and autonomy to how to empower women artisanal miners. Womin has also produced an advocacy tool summarising the various frameworks relevant to extraction and women’s rights, and how these could be used to support marginalised women.

You can find out more about Womin by visiting their website.

Activists in the Democratic Republic of Congo remained busy in their fight for women to have a space at the table. Femmes et Justice Economique conducted field research to increase knowledge around how women interact with and are affected by the extractive sector. This ranged from examining the types of jobs women undertake in mining cities to collecting data on the violence women living near extractive sites are subjected to. You can read all about this in FEJE’s newsletters (French only) – Voix des Femmes. FEJE also worked on empowering women through trainings and capacity building so that they could be more involved in transparency initiatives such as EITI.

The above is only the tiniest snapshot of what has happened in this field, please let us know in the comments if you have anything to add!

 Image by Caro’s Lines and available from Flickr under a creative commons license
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4 Responses to Gender and the extractives – a quick look back at the past year

  1. Alan Wolfe says:

    Great to hear about the first steps taken in a crucial area. On the value chains, there are now a variety in use, including from the World Bank and Natural Resource Charter / RWI. It’d be illuminating (and a conveniently sized research project) if their chains were also analysed through the gender prism. Any thoughts?

  2. apowell2013 says:

    Thanks Alan! That would be interesting indeed – another question that keeps popping up about value chains (and analysing them through the gender prism), is whether we should keep our gender-responsive chain separate to our original one, or whether – down the line – we should mainstream the gender questions and only have the one value chain.

    • Alan Wolfe says:

      A conundrum indeed. My personal opinion is that it would distract from the core work and messaging of PWYP. But that the gender responsive chain is now in existence is a great prompt for new thinking. With the proliferation of centres of expertise on mining (IM4DC, AMDC etc), have any picked up the gender aspect in their planned research?

  3. Pingback: Friday Note: Is the “Open” Agenda Open to Women? – Hewlett Foundation

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