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Democratic Republic of the Congo

Gendered Forests: Exploring Gender Dimensions in Forest Governance and REDD+ in Équateur Province, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

Citation:

Samndong, Raymond Achu, and Darley Jose Kjosavik. 2017. “Gendered Forests: Exploring Gender Dimensions in Forest Governance and REDD+ in Équateur Province, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).” Ecology and Society 22 (4). https://www.jstor.org/stable/26799010.

Authors: Darley Jose Kjosavik, Raymond Achu Samndong

Abstract:

In this study we analyze gender relations legitimatized by socio-political institutions of forest governance in REDD+ pilots in Équateur Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Using data from interviews, focus group discussions, and field observations, we show that men and women have different knowledge and use of forests, but these differences are not given due consideration in forest governance. Women’s voices are often muted in decision-making arenas and they occupy only a nominal position in both forestry and development initiatives as compared with men. This status quo is extended to the REDD+ pilot projects as well. Women have limited information about REDD+ compared with men. The mechanisms used to establish new village organization for REDD+ exclude women from decision making in the ongoing REDD+ pilot project. We show that women’s bargaining power for equal inclusion in decision-making processes and for sharing benefits are constrained by existing social norms regarding local access to land and material resources, existing gender division of labor, local perceptions regarding women’s roles and contributions/responsibilities, as well as men’s dominant position in rural settings. For a gender transformative REDD+, we suggest that REDD+ actors should attempt to bring about institutional changes that transform gender relations and thereby increase women’s bargaining power.

Keywords: decision making, development initiative, Équater Province, DRC, forest governance, gender role, REDD+

Topics: Environment, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Rights, Land Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2017

Women in Peacebuilding: A Criticism of Gendered Solutions in Postconflict Situations

Citation:

Erzurum, Kemal and Berna Eren. 2014. “Women in Peacebuilding: A Criticism of Gendered Solutions in Postconflict Situations.” Journal of Applied Security Research 9 (2): 236–56.

Authors: Kemal Erzurum, Berna Eren

Abstract:

Women are the most suffering part of populations in conflicts. They are required to fulfill different responsibilities during and after conflicts. Considering this fact, participation of women at peacebuilding efforts in postconflict areas has been considered as sine qua non requirement. However, active participation of women at these efforts, particularly decision-making activities, has been hampered due to diverse reasons. The barriers that block women involved in peacebuilding processes as decision-makers should be reexamined and eliminated by eradicating inequalities. In this article, gender-based violence, underestimated plight of women in conflicts, gendered approach of peacebuilding efforts, and the barriers in front of women's active participation in decision-making processes are examined.

Keywords: women, peace, peacebuilding, conflict, decision making, gender

Topics: Conflict, Gender, Women, Peacebuilding, Political Participation, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone

Year: 2014

When Subterranean Slavery Supports Sustainability Transitions? Power, Patriarchy, and Child Labor in Artisanal Congolese Cobalt Mining

Citation:

Sovacool, Benjamin K. 2021. “When Subterranean Slavery Supports Sustainability Transitions? Power, Patriarchy, and Child Labor in Artisanal Congolese Cobalt Mining.” The Extractive Industries and Society 8 (1): 271–93.

Author: Benjamin K. Sovacool

Abstract:

Through the critical lenses of “modern slavery,” “dispossession,” and “gendering,” this study examines the contours of power, patriarchy, and child labor in the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) of cobalt in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). There, a veritable mining boom for cobalt is underway, driven by rising global demand for batteries and other modern digital devices needed for future sustainability transitions. Based on extensive and original field research in the DRC—including 23 semi-structured expert interviews with a purposive sample, 48 semi-structured community interviews with ASM miners, traders, and community mem­ bers, and site visits to 17 artisanal mines, processing centers, and trading depots—this study asks: What power relations does ASM cobalt mining embed? What are its effects on patriarchy and gender relations? Critically, what is the extent and severity of child labor? It documents the exploitation of ASM miners by the government, the police, and even at times other mining actors such as traders or local communities. It reveals the often invisible gendered nature of mining, showing how many vulnerabilities—in terms of work, status, social norms, and sexual abuse and prostitution—fall disproportionately on women and girls. It lastly reveals sobering patterns of child labor and abuse, again at times by the government or police, but other times by families or mining communities themselves. These factors can at times make cobalt mining a modern form of slavery and a catalyst for social, economic, and even regional dispossession. However, rather than despair, the study also draws from its empirical data to showcase how mining can in selected situations empower. It also proposes a concerted mix of policy reforms aimed the Congolese government (at all scales, including local and national); suppliers and enduser companies for cobalt; and international governments and trading bodies. In doing so, the study humanizes the plight of Congolese cobalt artisanal miners, reveals the power relations associated with the recent mining boom, and also proposes pathways for positive change.

Keywords: artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM), Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Copper, Cobalt, modern slavery, disposession

Topics: Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Girls, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Governance, Multi-National Corporations, Sexual Violence Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2021

Mining Companies and Gender(Ed) Policies: The Women of the Congolese Copperbelt, Past and Present

Citation:

Pugliese, Francesca. 2020. “Mining Companies and Gender(Ed) Policies: The Women of the Congolese Copperbelt, Past and Present.” The Extractive Industries and Society (August). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exis.2020.08.006.

Author: Francesca Pugliese

Abstract:

Mining companies of the past and present have promoted specific roles for men and women through their management practices. In DR Congo, first colonial and then state-owned companies naturalised the role of men as employees and breadwinners. At the same time, women were assigned responsibility for reproduction and were understood as being financially dependent on men’s salary, either that of their fathers or husbands. By contrast, some LSM (large-scale mining) companies today support gender equality programmes, mainly to improve their corporate reputation. Drawing on the literature on women in the industrial extractive sector elsewhere in the world, I show how these discourses and processes continue to produce Congolese Copperbelt mines as masculine spaces at different levels. I then move to the ethnographic component of the paper by arguing that new investors’ gender practices and equality policies are not easily implemented in the area. On the con­ trary, they have to confront a region marked by the paternalistic social policies of mining companies in the past, which have entrenched a certain gender hegemony. Through the biographies of different women involved in the industrial mining sector past and present, I show the effects of mining companies’ policies on gender roles in Haut-Katanga Province.

Keywords: women in mining, gendered policies, gender equality, Congolese Copperbelt

Topics: Extractive Industries, Gender, Gender Roles, Masculinity/ies, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Patriarchy, Multi-National Corporations Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2020

Necessity or Choice: Women’s Migration to Artisanal Mining Regions in Eastern DRC

Citation:

Bashwira, Marie-Rose and Gemma van der Haar. 2020. “Necessity or Choice: Women’s Migration to Artisanal Mining Regions in Eastern DRC.” Canadian Journal of African Studies / Revue Canadienne Des éTudes Africaines 54 (1): 79-99.

Authors: Marie-Rose Bashwira, Gemma van der Haar

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
Women have long remained invisible in representations of artisanal mining in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Based on original field data, this paper seeks to fill that gap. It shows how women come to mining sites with the hope of finding a degree of security, economic possibilities and the start of a new life. Contrary to what dominant discourses on the “resource curse” and sexual violence towards women have suggested, women may find a degree of protection in mining areas. We take the analysis beyond the “push” and “pull” factors with which migration is usually explained, to understand women’s motivation to move into mining areas as complex and changing. The study situates women’s movement to the mines within their life trajectories which are shaped by violence and various forms of insecurity. The notion of social navigation is brought in to understand how they cope with gender discrimination, challenges and risks in the mining economy. The paper shows how push and pull factors merge over time and how some women succeed in creating new sources of revenue and manage to mitigate the situation of vulnerability in which they find themselves.

FRENCH ABSTRACT:
Les femmes sont restées longtemps invisibles dans les représentations de l’exploitation minière artisanale dans l’Est de la République démocratique du Congo. Fondé sur des données originales de terrain, cet article vise à combler cette lacune. Il montre comment les femmes arrivent sur les sites miniers avec l’espoir d’y trouver un degré de sécurité, des opportunités économiques et le début d’une nouvelle vie. Contrairement à ce que les discours dominants sur la « malédiction des ressources naturelles » et la violence sexuelle à l’égard des femmes ont laissé entendre, les femmes peuvent trouver un certain degré de protection dans les zones minières. Nous poussons l’analyse au-delà des facteurs attractifs et répulsifs par lesquels la migration est habituellement expliquée pour comprendre les motivations des femmes à s’installer dans les zonesminières comme quelque chose de complexe et changeant. L’étude situe le déplacement des femmes vers les mines dans leurs trajectoires de vie, qui sont déterminées par la violence et diverses formes d’insécurité. La notion de navigation sociale est introduite pour comprendre comment les femmes font face à la discrimination, aux difficultés et aux risques dans l’économie minière. L’article montre comment les facteurs attractifs et répulsifs fusionnent au fil du temps, et comment certaines femmes réussissent à créer de nouvelles sources de revenu et parviennent à atténuer la situation de vulnérabilité dans laquelle elles se trouvent.

Keywords: migration, mobility, social navigation, women, artisanal mining, violent conflict, eastern DRC, mobilité, navigation sociale, femmes, exploitation minière artisanale, conflit violent, Est de la RDC

Topics: Conflict, Resource Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Violence Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2020

Gendered Governance and Socio-Economic Differentiation among Women Artisanal and Small-Scale Miners in Central and East Africa

Citation:

Rutherford, Blair, and Doris Buss. 2019. “Gendered Governance and Socio-Economic Differentiation among Women Artisanal and Small-Scale Miners in Central and East Africa.” Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal 4 (1): 63–79. 

Authors: Blair Rutherford, Doris Buss

Abstract:

Drawing on qualitative research data from two gold artisanal and small-scale mining sites (ASGM), one in Democratic Republic of the Congo, the other in Uganda, this paper explores the authority arrangements that govern mining livelihoods in these sites, tracing their gendered forms and operation. The inter-relationship between these arrangements and women’s mining livelihoods is considered to further explore some of the socio-economic differentiation among women miners. In the context of increasing emphasis on formalizing the ASM sector in Sub-Saharan Africa, including through licenses and formation of associations and cooperatives, both the gendered organization of mine site governance and social differential among women miners have important implications. Formalization efforts in the ASM sector are rightly critiqued for failing to account for social differentiation that may allow elites to control licenses and associations. But also important, our research suggests, is the gendered inequalities that characterize existing authority arrangements, and the differentiation among women that may allow some women to organize and not others.

Keywords: artisanal and small-scale mining, gender, women's empowerment, governance, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda

Topics: Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda

Year: 2019

Formalization of Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo: An Opportunity for Women in the New Tin, Tantalum, Tungsten and Gold (3TG) Supply Chain?

Citation:

Byemba, Gabriel Kamundala. 2020. “Formalization of Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo: An Opportunity for Women in the New Tin, Tantalum, Tungsten and Gold (3TG) Supply Chain?” The Extractive Industries and Society 7 (2): 420–7.

Author: Gabriel Kamundal Byemba

Abstract:

This paper analyzes the opportunities, constraints and challenges for women in Tantalum, Tungsten, Tin and Gold (3TG) supply chains in the artisanal and smallscale mining (ASM) sector of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Drawing on empirical qualitative data collected during five months of field research between 2015 and 2018, the paper analyzes the governance structures of, and power relations within, 3TG ASM supply chains in the eastern DRC, with special emphasis on women's roles. The analysis offers clues as to why, in eastern DRC, women's positions in 3TG ASM supply chains changed after formalization.

Topics: Economies, Informal Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2020

Health Services for Women, Children and Adolescents in Conflict Affected Settings: Experience from North and South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo

Citation:

Altare, Chiara, Espoir Bwenge Malembaka, Maphie Tosha, Christopher Hook, Hamady Ba, Stéphane Muzindusi Bikoro, Thea Scognamiglio, Hannah Tappis, Jerome Pfaffmann, Ghislain Bisimwa Balaluka, Ties Boerma, and Paul Spiegel. 2020. "Health Services for Women, Children and Adolescents in Conflict Affected Settings: Experience from North and South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo." Conflict and Health 14.

Authors: Chiara Altare, Espoir Bwenge Malembaka, Maphie Tosha, Christopher Hook, Hamady Ba, Stéphane Muzindusi Bikoro, Thea Scognamiglio, Hannah Tappis, Jerome Pfaffmann, Ghislain Bisimwa Balaluka, Ties Boerma, Paul Spiegel

Abstract:

Background: Insecurity has characterized the Eastern regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo for decades. Providing health services to sustain women’s and children’s health during protracted conflict is challenging. This mixed-methods case study aimed to describe how reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, adolescent health and nutrition (RMNCAH+N) services have been offered in North and South Kivu since 2000 and how successful they were. 
 
Methods: We conducted a case study using a desk review of publicly available literature, secondary analysis of survey and health information system data, and primary qualitative interviews. The qualitative component provides insights on factors shaping RMNCAH+N design and implementation. We conducted 49 interviews with government officials, humanitarian agency staff and facility-based healthcare providers, and focus group discussions with community health workers in four health zones (Minova, Walungu, Ruanguba, Mweso). We applied framework analysis to investigate key themes across informants. The quantitative component used secondary data from nationwide surveys and the national health facility information system to estimate coverage of RMNCAH+N interventions at provincial and sub-provincial level. The association between insecurity on service provision was examined with random effects generalized least square models using health facility data from South Kivu. 
 
Results: Coverage of selected preventive RMNCAH+N interventions seems high in North and South Kivu, often higher than the national level. Health facility data show a small negative association of insecurity and preventive service coverage within provinces. However, health outcomes are poorer in conflict-affected territories than in stable ones. The main challenges to service provisions identified by study respondents are the availability and retention of skilled personnel, the lack of basic materials and equipment as well as the insufficient financial resources to ensure health workers’ regular payment, medicaments’ availability and facilities’ running costs. Insecurity exacerbates pre-existing challenges, but do not seem to represent the main barrier to service provision in North and South Kivu. 
 
Conclusions: Provision of preventive schedulable RMNCAH+N services has continued during intermittent conflict in North and South Kivu. The prolonged effort by non-governmental organizations and UN agencies to respond to humanitarian needs was likely key in maintaining intervention coverage despite conflict. Health actors and communities appear to have adapted to changing levels and nature of insecurity and developed strategies to ensure preventive services are provided and accessed. However, emergency non-schedulable RMNCAH+N interventions do not appear to be readily accessible. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals will require increased access to life-saving interventions, especially for newborn and pregnant women.

Keywords: health services, health system, conflict, population displacement, North Kivu, South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo, maternal, newborn, child, reproductive health

Topics: Age, Youth, Conflict, Gender, Women, Girls, Boys, Health, Reproductive Health, International Organizations, NGOs, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2020

Supporting Social and Gender Equity Through Micro-Grid Deployment in the DR Congo

Citation:

Avrin, Anne-Perrine, Hilary Yu, and Daniel M. Kammen. 2018. “Supporting Social and Gender Equity Through Micro-Grid Deployment in the DR Congo.” In 2018 IEEE PES/IAS PowerAfrica, 646–51. Cape Town: IEEE.

Authors: Anne-Perrine Avrin, Hilary Yu, Daniel M. Kammen

Keywords: economics, sociology, statistics, electric potential, hydroelectric power generation, systematics, lightning

Topics: Conflict, Environment, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Governance, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2018

“Provide Care for Everyone Please”: Engaging Community Leaders as Sexual and Reproductive Health Advocates in North and South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Citation:

Steven, Victoria J., Julianne Deitch, Erin Files Dumas, Meghan C. Gallagher, Jimmy Nzau, Augustin Paluku, and Sara E. Casey. 2019. ““Provide Care for Everyone Please”: Engaging Community Leaders as Sexual and Reproductive Health Advocates in North and South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo.” Reproductive Health 16. doi: 10.1186/s12978-019-0764-z.

Authors: Victoria J. Steven, Julianne Deitch, Erin Files Dumas, Meghan C. Gallagher, Jimmy Nzau, Augustin Paluku, Sara E. Casey

Abstract:

Background: Inadequate infrastructure, security threats from ongoing armed conflict, and conservative socio-cultural and gender norms that favour large families and patriarchal power structures contribute to poor sexual and reproductive health (SRH) outcomes in North and South Kivu provinces, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In order to expand contraceptive and post-abortion care (PAC) access in North and South Kivu, CARE, the International Rescue Committee and Save the Children provided technical support to the Ministry of Health and health facilities in these regions. Partners acknowledged that community leaders, given their power to influence local customs, could play a critical role as agents of change in addressing inequitable gender norms, stigma surrounding SRH service utilization, and topics traditionally considered taboo within Congolese society. As such, partners actively engaged with community leaders through a variety of activities such as community mapping exercises, values clarification and transformation (VCAT) activities, situational analyses, and education.
 
Methods: This manuscript presents findings from 12 key informant interviews (KIIs) with male political and non-political community leaders conducted in six rural health zones of North and South Kivu, DRC. Transcripts were analysed thematically to explore community leaders’ perceptions of their role in addressing the issue of unintended pregnancy in their communities.
 
Results: While community leaders in this study expressed overall positive impressions of contraception and strong support for ensuring access to PAC services following spontaneous and induced abortions, the vast majority held negative beliefs concerning women who had induced abortion. Contrasting with their professed opposition to induced abortion, leaders’ commitment to mediating interpersonal conflict arising between community members and women who had abortions was overwhelming.
 
Conclusion: Results from this study suggest that when thoughtfully engaged by health interventions, community leaders can be empowered to become advocates for SRH. While study participants were strong supporters of contraception and PAC, they expressed negative perceptions of induced abortion. Given the hypothesized link between the presence of induced abortion stigma and care-avoidance behavior, further engagement and values clarification exercises with leaders must be integrated into community mobilization and engagement activities in order to increase PAC utilization.

Keywords: abortion, contraception, community leader, post-abortion care, DRC, Qualitative, community mobilization

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Health, Reproductive Health, Infrastructure, International Organizations Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2019

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