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Democratic Republic of the Congo

Women, Mining and Power in Southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo: The Case of Kisengo

Citation:

Bashwira, Marie-Rose, and Jeroen Cuvelier. 2019. "Women, Mining and Power in Southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo: The Case of Kisengo." The Extractive Industries and Society. In Press. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exis.2019.02.010

Authors: Marie-Rose Bashwira, Jeroen Cuvelier

Abstract:

Recent decades have witnessed a growing scholarly interest in women’s involvement in ASM, with many authors drawing attention to two frequently occurring trends: the fact that women move to mining areas to escape oppressive gender rules and norms, and the remarkable efforts of women miners to exercise agency in the typically complex and unstable socio-political environments of artisanal mining sites. An important gap in the existing literature is the lack of attention for the differences in agency and the power relations between these women. This article seeks to fill this gap by presenting an ethnographic case study on the so-called mamans moutrousses, a group of women assisting artisanal miners with the drying and cleaning of minerals in coltan mines close to Kisengo, a locality situated in the Congolese Tanganyika province. Drawing inspiration from Vigh’s navigation theory, the work of Honwana, and the spatial approach advanced by Watts and Korf, the article argues that the less successful women in Kisengo’s mining business have only been able to display ‘tactic agency’, while the more successful ones have succeeded in demonstrating ‘strategic agency’.

Keywords: ASM (artisanal and small-scale mining), gender, women, Democratic Republic of Congo, governance, social navigation, agency

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

Year: 2019

Financial Inclusion for Women and Men in Artisanal Gold Mining Communities: A Case Study from the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Citation:

Reichel, Victoria. 2019. "Financial Inclusion for Women and Men in Artisanal Gold Mining Communities: A Case Study from the Democratic Republic of the Congo." The Extractive Industries and Society. In Press. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exis.2019.05.003

Author: Victoria Reichel

Abstract:

This article presents results from a community-led savings and credit project implemented by the Canadian non-governmental organization IMPACT in six artisanal gold mining communities in Ituri Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Artisanal Mining Women's Empowerment Credit & Savings project (known in French as Autonomisation des femmes par l’épargne et le crédit communautaire responsible or AFECCOR) supports more than 1400 women and men in artisanal gold mining communities to access savings and credit by establishing Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs).
 
While international development efforts increasingly focus on the formalization of the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector, how to improve the sector’s access to formal financial services, including through microfinance, has not yet been fully explored. The results from the AFECCOR project are among some of the first documented experiences of introducing VSLAs into artisanal mining communities where they can positively contribute to cover basic financial needs.

Keywords: financial inclusion, artisanal gold mining, ASM, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Village Savings and Loan Associations, VSLA, microfinance

Topics: Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Political Economies Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2019

Resources and Resourcefulness: Gender, Human Rights and Resilience in Artisanal Mining Towns of Eastern Congo

Citation:

Perks, Rachel, Jocelyn Kelly, Stacie Constantian, and Phuong Pham. 2018. "Resources and Resourcefulness: Gender, Human Rights and Resilience in Artisanal Mining Towns of Eastern Congo." In Between the Plough and the Pick: Informal, Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining in the Contemporary World, edited by Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt, 209-32. Action, ACT: ANU Press.

Authors: Rachel Perks, Jocelyn Kelly, Stacie Contsantian, Phuong Pham

Annotation:

Summary: 
"Few things evoke reactions as passionate as issues surrounding gender, conflict and mining in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). At once reviled by international advocacy organisations and celebrated by local communities, mining is viewed as both the scourge and the saviour of a region wrecked by decades of violence. Studies have reported on human rights as well as on the status of women in the DRC, and although some examine the link between mining and sex-based violence, little research explores the gender dimensions of artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM). The research in this chapter was framed by questions such as: Do men and women face similar difficulties when seeking to gain employment in mining? Are they afforded similar opportunities once they have secured access into ASM? What are the most prevalent social, economic and health impacts experienced by individuals. Are these impacts gendered? A human rights–based approach informed the range of issues examined, such as gender, militarisation of the extraction process and free and equal participation in political, judicial and economic systems. By speaking with a wide variety of actors who live and work within these communities, we attempted to identify issues that are common to mining-affected areas. The experiences of both women and men were examined, but a particular focus remained on understanding women’s experiences in mining towns. Hence, the research was ultimately guided by the hypothesis that by understanding issues related to safety, security and economic opportunities for women, significant gains in both economic and social development in the eastern DRC could be achieved" (Perks et al. 2018, 209-10). 

Topics: Extractive Industries, Gender, Gender Analysis, Rights, Human Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2018

Hybrid Clubs: A Feminist Approach to Peacebuilding in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Citation:

Martin de Almagro, Maria. 2018. “Hybrid Clubs: A Feminist Approach to Peacebuilding in the Democratic Republic of Congo.” Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, July, 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1080/17502977.2018.1482125.

Author: Maria Martin de Almagro

Abstract:

Critical approaches to peacebuilding have achieved a local turn wherein alienated indigenous experiences are the cornerstone of emancipatory practices – yet this emancipation of the ‘different’ risks perpetuating the discrimination and normalization of the challenged liberal peace. Using the case study of a feminist campaign to elect more women in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), this article’s feminist approach to critical peacebuilding utilizes storytelling to develop a conceptual grid that reveals the complexities of the politics of difference, and proposes the concept of the ‘hybrid club’ as a cluster of local and international actors coalescing to develop peacebuilding initiatives.

Keywords: hybridity, gender, Democratic Republic of Congo, space, embodiment, experience, peacebuilding

Topics: Feminisms, Gendered Power Relations, Peacebuilding Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2018

Women, Peace, and Security and the DRC: Time to Rethink Wartime Sexual Violence as Gender-Based Violence?

Citation:

Aroussi, Sahla. 2017. "Women, Peace, and Security and the DRC: Time to Rethink Wartime Sexual Violence as Gender-Based Violence?" Politics & Gender 13(3): 488-515. 

Author: Sahla Aroussi

Abstract:

During armed conflicts, women experience extensive gender harm of a physical, sexual, legal, economic, social, cultural, and political nature. Recently, however, we have witnessed unprecedented attention in international law and policy-making arenas to the specific issue of sexual violence as a strategy of warfare. This has been particularly obvious in the agenda on women, peace, and security. Since 2008, the United Nations agenda has increasingly and repeatedly focused on sexual violence in armed conflicts in several Security Council resolutions, calling on and pressuring member states and international agencies to address this issue using militaristic and legalistic strategies. In this article, looking particularly at the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), I argue that the prioritization of sexual harm over other forms of gender harm has had a detrimental impact on women living in aid-dependent societies, and the international obsession with sexual harm has delivered neither justice nor security for victims in the DRC. The article concludes that in order to effectively address sexual violence, we have to rethink sexual harm as gender harm and start listening and responding to women's actual needs and priorities on the ground.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Conflict, Peace and Security, International Law, International Organizations, Justice, Peacebuilding, Security, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, Sexual Violence, SV against women Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2017

Producing Participants: Gender, Race, Class, and Women, Peace and Security

Citation:

Martin de Almagro, Maria. 2017. "Producing Participants: Gender, Race, Class, and Women, Peace and Security." Global Society. doi: 10.1080/13600826.2017.1380610.

Author: Maria Martin de Almagro

Abstract:

Recent efforts to implement the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda and the creation of National Action Plans (NAPs) in post-conflict countries have resulted in a set of international policy discourses and practices on gender, peace and security. Critics have challenged the WPS agenda for its focus on “adding women and stir” and its failure to be transformative. This article contributes to this debate by showing that the implementation of the WPS agenda is not only about adding women, but also about gendering in racialised, sexualised and classed ways. Drawing on poststructuralist and postcolonial feminist theory and on extensive fieldwork in post-conflict contexts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Burundi and Liberia, the article examines the subject position of the woman participant. I demonstrate how NAPs normalise certain subject positions in the Global South while rendering invisible and troubling others, contributing to (re)producing certain forms of normativity and hierarchy through a powerful set of policy practices. Deconstructing such processes of discursive inclusion and exclusion of troubled representations is essential as it allows for the identification of sites of contestation and offers a better understanding of the everyday needs and experiences of those the WPS agenda regulates.

Topics: Class, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Women, Gender Balance, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Peace and Security, Peacebuilding, Post-Conflict, Race, Rights, Women's Rights, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, West Africa Countries: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia

Year: 2017

Women and War in Rwanda: Gender, Media and the Representation of Genocide

Citation:

Holmes, Georgina. 2014. Women and War in Rwanda: Gender, Media and the Representation of Genocide. International Library of African Studies 39. London; New York: IBTauris.

Author: Georgina Holmes

Annotation:

"Georgina Holmes argues that the media represents a site within which political and military actors can influence narratives about war and genocide, and breaks new ground in analyzing the role of gender in the conflict. This book is essential reading on the gendered dynamics of conflict and genocide in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo." (Summary from WorldCat)

Topics: Gender, Women, Genocide Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda

Year: 2014

Money, Migration, and Masculinity among Artisanal Miners in Katanga (DR Congo)

Citation:

Cuvelier, Jeroen. 2017. “Money, Migration, and Masculinity among Artisanal Miners in Katanga (DR Congo).” Review of African Political Economy 44 (152): 204–19. doi:10.1080/03056244.2016.1172061.

Author: Jeroen Cuvelier

Abstract:

The Katangese artisanal mining sector has grown spectacularly since the late 1990s. Faced with political instability and economic crisis, tens of thousands of men have moved to the mining areas in order to find new sources of income. This article offers a detailed ethnographic description of how male migrant workers experience and cope with the challenging realities of life on the mines against the backdrop of recent changes in Katanga’s political economy. More specifically, it examines the relationship between money, migration and masculinity through an extended case study of a money dispute among a group of artisanal miners working in the Kalabi mine near Lwambo, a small town situated 20 kilometres north of Likasi. It is found that the conspicuous consumption of money plays a vital role in the mining subculture; that credit and debt dominate life on the mines; and that artisanal mining has given rise to significant changes in gender relations and household organisation.

Keywords: artisanal and small-scale mining, gender, Democratic Republic of Congo, informal economy, subculture, monetary practices, extended case method

Topics: Migration, Extractive Industries, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Households, Political Economies Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2017

Work and Masculinity in Katanga’s Artisanal Mines

Citation:

Cuvelier, Jeroen. 2014. “Work and Masculinity in Katanga’s Artisanal Mines.” Africa Spectrum 49 (2): 3–26.

Author: Jeroen Cuvelier

Abstract:

This article, based on 16 months of anthropological fieldwork between 2005 and 2012, examines the relationship between work and masculinity among artisanal miners, or creuseurs, in Katanga, the southeastern province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It argues that men’s involvement in artisanal mining should be considered not only as an economic survival strategy but also as an attempt to experiment with new ways of being a man in a context of economic crisis and changing gender relations. Furthermore, the article criticizes the tendency to downplay or underestimate the complexity and diversity of processes of masculine identity construction in Africa’s artisanal-mining areas. In order to do justice to the intricacy of these processes, the article proposes using concepts and insights from the field of masculinity studies and distinguishing between a levelling and a differentiating trend in artisanal miners’ masculinity practices.

Keywords: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Katanga, artisanal mining, social change, gender roles, masculinity

Topics: Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2014

Canada, Women, and Artisanal Mining in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Citation:

Hartviksen, Julia, and Rebecca Tiessen. 2017. “Canada, Women, and Artisanal Mining in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.” In Obligations and Omissions: Canada’s Ambiguous Actions on Gender Equality, edited by Rebecca Tiessen and Stephen Baranyi. McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Authors: Julia Hartviksen, Rebecca Tiessen

Topics: Extractive Industries, Gender, Women Regions: Africa, Central Africa, Americas, North America Countries: Canada, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2017

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