Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version

Central Africa

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

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

Promoting Gender Equality in the Rwandan ASM: Efforts and Obstacles

Citation:

Nsanzimana, Bernard, Aline Providence Nkundibiza, and Patricie Mwambarangwe. 2020. “Promoting Gender Equality in the Rwandan ASM: Efforts and Obstacles.” Canadian Journal of African Studies / Revue Canadienne Des éTudes Africaines 54 (1): 119–38. 

Authors: Bernard Nsanzimana, Aline Providence Nkundibiza, Patricie Mwambarangwe

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
Despite Rwanda getting high scores in international rankings for steps made in providing an enabling business environment, reducing maternal mortality, increasing the number of women in politics and other efforts relating to the promotion of gender equality in various activity sectors, the Rwandan mining sector is still male-dominated. Only 16% of its workforce is women whereas the 2009 mining policy had a target to increase the number of women in the mining industry to 20–30% of the workforce by the beginning of 2013. This article argues that various efforts were engaged by mining and gender stakeholders to promote gender equality in mining, though obstacles persist to this purpose. The efforts include the availability of a friendly legal and policy framework and willing stakeholders. The obstacles are centred on the nature of mining activities, gender norms, and taboos associated with the historical dominance of men in mining. In any case, the effective implementation of available policies and related instruments, upon the elaboration of strong tools and strategies, can lead to complete gender equality in the Rwandan mining industry.

FRENCH ABSTRACT:
Bien que le Rwanda ait obtenu des scores élevés dans les classements internationaux en raison de mesures prises pour créer un environnement favorable aux entreprises, réduire la mortalité maternelle, augmenter le nombre de femmes en politique, et d’autres efforts relatifs à la promotion de l’égalité entre les sexes dans divers secteurs d’activité, le secteur minier du pays est encore dominé par les hommes. Seulement 16 % de femmes composent la main d’oeuvre de ce secteur, alors que la politique minière de 2009 visait à atteindre 20 à 30 % de femmes dans l’industrie minière au début de l’année 2013. Cet article soutient que divers efforts ont été déployés par les parties prenantes du secteur minier et de l’égalité des sexes pour promouvoir l’égalité des sexes dans le secteur minier, bien que des obstacles persistent à cet effet. Les efforts comprennent la disponibilité d’un cadre juridique et politique favorable et des parties prenantes consentantes. Les obstacles sont centrés sur la nature des activités minières, les normes de genre et les tabous associés à la domination historique du secteur minier par les hommes. En tout état de cause, la mise en oeuvre effective des politiques disponibles et des instruments connexes, sur l’élaboration d’outils et de stratégies solides, peut conduire à l’égalité complète entre les sexes dans l’industrie minière rwandaise.

Keywords: gender equality, ASM, Rwandan mining sector, efforts, obstacles, égalité entre les sexes, EMAPE, secteur minier rwandais

Topics: Extractive Industries, Gender, Gender Roles, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

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

Women, Peace and Security in Zimbabwe - The Case of Conflict in Non War Zones

Citation:

Chabikwa, Rutendo. 2021. "Women, Peace and Security in Zimbabwe - The Case of Conflict in Non War Zones." Journal of African Conflicts and Peace Studies 4 (2).

Author: Rutendo Chabikwa

Abstract:

The Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda is the United Nation’s (UN) key policy instrument for addressing gender violence in conflict zones. However, the agenda has been preoccupied with “hot” conflicts, and its application and relevance to sustained, but “low level” conflict situations is poorly conceptualized. This research considers this issue through a case study of Zimbabwe since 2000. I make the case for broadening the understanding of conflict as found in the WPS agenda.

This paper addresses the question: ‘How does the case of Zimbabwe exemplify the need for a broader understanding of conflict within the WPS agenda as it applies to non-war settings?’

I first consider the nature of non-war zones, adopting a feminist international relations theory perspective, incorporating elements of postcolonial feminist theory and critical race theory. We then review Zimbabwe’s recent history and situate it as a country in non-war conflict zone. We situate Zimbabwe’s recent history clearly within the concept of non-war zones and discuss the nature of gender violence in this setting.

My analysis adds to the body of literature and research on non-war zones and argues for broadening the WPS agenda to encompass a broader understanding of conflict, specifically arguing for the centrality of gender-based violence in non-war situations, as exemplified in Zimbabwe’s recent history.

Keywords: WPS agenda, Zimbabwe, conflict

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Conflict, Feminisms, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Race, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, Violence Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Zimbabwe

Year: 2021

A Social Relations of Gender Analysis of Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining in Africa’s Great Lakes Region

Citation:

Danielsen, Katrine, and Jennifer Hinton. 2020. “A Social Relations of Gender Analysis of Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining in Africa’s Great Lakes Region.” Canadian Journal of African Studies / Revue Canadienne Des Études Africaines 54 (1): 17–36.

Authors: Katrine Danielsen, Jennifer Hinton

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
Much research on gender and artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) has tended to focus on describing the different roles women undertake in mining, while there has been less attention to how gender relations are constructed, reinforced and challenged in and through ASM. Drawing from desk and field research in the Great Lakes Region of Africa, this paper presents a framework to analyse gender dynamics in ASM along four interrelated dimensions of gender relations: division of labour; access to and control over resources and benefits; decision-making; and gender norms. The authors argue that unequal gender relations in ASM are mainly legitimized by gender norms that produce, and are reinforced by, the varying abilities of women and men to make decisions and control resources. Findings also describe the diversity and instability of gender relations, and demonstrate how gender inequalities can be and are being challenged by women miners.
 
FRENCH ABSTRACT
De nombreuses recherches sur le genre et l’exploitation minière artisanale à petite échelle (EMAPE) ont eu tendance à se focaliser sur la description des différents rôles que jouent les femmes dans le secteur minier, alors que moins d’attention a été prêtée à la façon dont les relations entre les genres sont construites, renforcées et remises en question dans et à travers l’EMAPE. À partir de recherches documentaires et de terrain dans la région des Grands Lacs en Afrique, cet article présente un cadre d’analyse de la dynamique de genre dans l’EMAPE, selon quatre dimensions interdépendantes des relations de genre: division du travail; accès aux ressources et aux avantages, et contrôle de ceux-ci; prise de décision; et normes de genre. Les auteurs soutiennent que les relations inégales entre les genres dans l’EMAPE sont principalement légitimées par des normes de genre qui produisent et sont renforcées par les capacités variables des femmes et des hommes à prendre des décisions et à contrôler les ressources. Les résultats décrivent également la diversité et l’instabilité des relations entre les genres, et démontrent comment les inégalités entre les genres peuvent être et sont remises en question par les femmes dans le secteur minier.
 

Keywords: gender, social relations, women, artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM), Great Lakes Region

Topics: Extractive Industries, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa

Year: 2020

Socially Inclusive Renewable Energy Transition in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Social Shaping of Technology Analysis of Appliance Uptake in Rwanda

Citation:

Muza, O., and R. Debnath. 2020. “Socially Inclusive Renewable Energy Transition in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Social Shaping of Technology Analysis of Appliance Uptake in Rwanda.” Cambridge Working Papers in Economics, University of Cambridge, London.

Authors: O. Muza, R. Debnath

Abstract:

Rural off-grid renewable energy solutions often fail due to uncertainties in household energy demand, insufficient community engagement, inappropriate financial models, policy inconsistency and lack of political will. Social shaping of technology (SST) of specific household electric appliances provides a critical lens of understanding the involved sociotechnical drivers behind these constraints. This study employs an SST lens to investigate appliance uptake drivers in Rwanda using the EICV5 micro dataset, such that these drivers can aid in policy design of a socially inclusive renewable energy transition. The methodology includes a systemic and epistemological review of current literature on the drivers of appliance uptake in the Global South. These drivers were then analysed using binary logistic regression on 14,580 households. Results show that appliance uptake is highly gendered and urban-centric in Rwanda. The type of appliance determines its diffusion across the welfare categories, commonly referred as to Ubudehe categories. Regression results show that mobile phones, radios and TV-sets have a higher likelihood of ownership than welfare appliances (refrigerator and laundry machine) by low-income households. There is also a high likelihood of uptake of power stabilisers in urban-higher income households, indicating poor power quality and distributive injustices. Policy implications were drawn using the lens of disruptive innovation.

Keywords: energy transition, off-grid system, Sub-Saharan Africa, social shaping of technology, gender, disruptive innovation

Topics: Gender, Households, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2020

Gender Inequality and Land Rights: The Situation of Indigenous Women in Cameroon

Citation:

Njieassam, Esther Effundem. 2019. “Gender Inequality and Land Rights: The Situation of Indigenous Women in Cameroon”. PER: Potchefstroomse Elektroniese Regsblad 22 (1): 1–33.

Author: Esther Effundem Njieassam

Abstract:

Land is an essential resource that serves as a means of subsistence for millions of people in the world and indigenous communities and women in particular. Most indigenous societies' survival is closely tied to land. In Cameroon, indigenous women are the backbone of food production in their communities. That makes access to land important, as it is a significant source of wealth and power for indigenous peoples in general and indigenous women in particular. While women all over the world encounter gender-based discrimination in relation to the control and ownership of land, indigenous women face triple discrimination on the basis of their gender (as women), their ethnicity (as indigenous peoples) and their economic class (economically poor). They are often dehumanised, degraded and subjected to treatment as second-class human beings despite the existence of national legislation that discourages such practices. This paper interrogates the possibility of including indigenous women in government and decision-making processes in Cameroon in the hope that they may be involved in key decision-making processes that affect them, thereby reducing their economic and social vulnerability. It concludes with some thoughtful recommendations on policy reform aimed at ensuring access to land for indigenous women as well as socio-economic justice in its broadest sense. 

Keywords: indigenous women, gendered-based discrimination, land rights, gender inequality, decision-making, participation, Cameroon

Topics: Class, Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Indigenous, Rights, Indigenous Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Cameroon

Year: 2019

Pages

© 2021 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.

Subscribe to RSS - Central Africa