Women, Land, and Mining: Effective Strategies for Improved Global Practice
Mining projects pose challenges and opportunities for women and men. However, women often bear an unequal burden of the negative impacts from mining projects and, when benefits are made available to local stakeholders, women often go without a share of those benefits. This report helps to show what governments, the private sector, NGOs, and communities can do to ensure that women and men share equally in the promise and costs of mining projects. This report synthesizes findings from three case studies that each show examples of strategies used by mining projects to consider gender. It identifies gaps and opportunities to better meet the needs of women and to address gaps in understanding and practices among all actors.
The case studies represent diverse geographies, different scales of mining, different political and cultural contexts, differing project funding sources, a range of stages in the mining lifecycle, and diverse project approaches. The key findings from the synthesis report are provided below.
Certain factors can help lay the groundwork for attention to gender; these are referred to as enabling conditions. Among them are gender-equitable legal and governance frameworks for land and mining, a supportive institutional structure and culture, influential international instruments, and dedicated human and financial resources. When it comes to community engagement and social license to operate, both women and men can be meaningfully engaged when underlying social dynamics and history of discrimination against women are addressed, when women's needs and voices are given specific attention, and when investment is made in ensuring that representation of women's interests is meaningful.
Gender-sensitive mining project design and planning can be achieved by improving women's confidence and self-esteem so that they can engage, working with women in groups, getting buy-in from men and others with power or higher status than women, and employing creative approaches that are relevant to the context. It can also be achieved by ensuring built-in accountability for gender-related outcomes through staff incentives and well-developed baseline and monitoring activities, along with planned flexibility that permits implementers to respond to issues identified during the entire life of the project. Finally, benefits accrue to women when mining projects de-link gender discriminatory interpretations of land ownership, household headship, and community membership from the analysis of who can share in project benefits.