Extractive Industries and the Gender Bias
Duration: 196 minutes
Keywords: Mining, Energy, Governance
Maria Helena Rocha
On June 19, 2006, the Sustainable Community Development Fund (CommDev) hosted a day-long conference at the IFC Building on Washington, D.C., to discuss “Sharing Experience: Enhancing the Benefits to Communities from Extractive Industry Projects.” The conference aimed at sharing experiences, conducting training, and raising awareness of the community development work being implemented in communities impacted by extractive industries. In this breakout session, chaired by John Strongman, Mining Adviser for the World Bank, discussants offered good practice examples of gender and success stories to be emulated.
Natalie Africa, Senior Program Officer for Mining at the IFC, discussed the problems of gender bias in extractive industry projects, and IFC strategies for involving women in the planning, implementation, and results of these projects. She answered questions about wage differentials. Dorota Stasikowska, President of the Silesian Centre for Equal Opportunities, commented on the effects of women in mining in South Asia, and a project implemented to encourage protection for women in the industry. She focused on a center for information that was founded for training and advice assisting women.
Meg Taylor, Compliance Advisor and Ombudsman for the IFC, discussed matrilineal property systems and how they have been affected by new mining operations. Using the example of a project in Papua New Guinea, she noted cultural and environmental degradation, as well as increases in alcoholism and domestic violence, but praised increased access to education and better infrastructure. Dr. Maria Helena Rocha, Staff Researcher at the Centro de Tecnologia Mineral in Brazil, discussed research on the role of women in extractive industries. She commented on how these industries can affect the home life of employees, through health or cultural impacts.
The question and answer session revolved around topics of national engagement, future areas for research, and mainstreaming women.