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Gender Issues in Extracives Industries

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A World Bank study indicated that women’s employment in extractive companies is low and rarely exceeds 10% of the workforce (Eftimie et al., 2009). The stereotype of mining as men’s work is making women’s contribution to the sector largely invisible and creating barriers to their full participation (Jenkins, 2014). What is however prevalent in the global South is the employment of women in ancillary and administrative positions (Chaloping-March, 2006; Lahiri-Dutt, 2006). While women are employed in leadership and management positions numbers remain very low. The often used Fly-In Fly-Out (FIFO) practices by mining companies where workers undertake concentrated periods of work in isolated locations far away from home (Macdonald, 2006) is not ideal for women with caring responsibilities. research indicates that employing more women as mine workers in large-scale mining can facilitate women’s greater access to the potential benefits of mining (Macintyre, 2006; Jenkins, 2014). On the gendered impacts of mining, the study focused on the negative impacts of mining (ASM and large-scale) on women.

Most rural communities rely on land as a livelihood source. The arrival of small or large-scale mining is often associated with community displacement and the associated with disruptions to livelihood activities. Displacements impact on women in terms of coping with decreasing food security (Jenkins, 2014). Community displacement places additional burden on women in relation to other roles like building and maintaining communities as social conflicts emerge within communities and families, with the presence of mining in a local area (Jenkins, 2014; Scheyvens & Lagisa, 1998). Literature shows the importance of disaggregating data wherever possible to improve understanding of and make visible the experiences of different groups of women in different contexts (Lahiri-Dutt, 2011a; Mahy, 2011). This study specifically interviewed women separately and also got women’s views from various segments of society.

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