Canadian Mining in Latin America: Corporate Social Responsibility and Women's Testimonies


Rondon, Glevys. 2008. “Canadian Mining in Latin America: Corporate Social Responsibility and Women's Testimonies.” Canadian Woman Studies 27 (1): 89-96.

Author: Glevys Rondon


“In the past decade Canadian mining corporations have come to dominate the Latin American mining investment market, an achievement well-documented in the business literature (Mining Association of Canada). However, at the community level, many of these mining corporations have met nothing but fierce opposition. In response to grassroots conflict, mining corporations across the world have coined the concept of "corporate social responsibility" (CSR). The idea that business enterprises should integrate environmental concerns into their operations is not new; what is unique to CSR in the mining context is how major mining corporations have used the concept to discuss issues of social inequality; the rights of groups traditionally excluded such as Indigenous peoples; and to produce complex codes of how they will work with governments and communities. Without doubt, one of the most important changes within the mining sector in the last few years has been its unprecedented interest in promoting high standards of corporate behaviour based on ethical values.

In the mining literature, women's participation on issues of mining and development is beginning to be considered a key factor for the evaluation of CSR's models of good practice ("Ethical Performances") and mining sustainability (Empowering Communities Programme). For Latin American women, a more tangible outcome is that women's activism on issues of mining and development can play a role in destroying centuries of social and economic marginalization as well as help to sensitize communities on issues that are important to women. There are already indications that women's contributions are appreciated: for example in Morona Santiago, Ecuador, the organization Campesina Centro held a "women and mining" public meeting in March 2007 to celebrate women's role in the defence of human rights and the struggle for social justice.” (Rondon, 2008, p. 89).


Topics: Economies, Environment, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Indigenous, Justice, Livelihoods Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2008

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