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Gender

'It has to be a Miner's Wife!' Representing Women in Mining Activism

Citation:

Spence, Jean, and Carol Stephenson. 2019. " 'It has to be a Miner's Wife!' Representing Women in Mining Activism." In Shafted: the Miners, the Media and the Aftermath, edited by Granville Williams. Exeter: Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom. 

Authors: Jean Spence, Carol Stephenson

Abstract:

The question of identity permeates interest in women's activism within mining politics. It is implicit in requests from researchers and students to interview ‘miner’s wives' who were involved in the strike. It is foregrounded in commemorative events and articles that seek to honour women activists. It is central to characterisation in cultural productions representing the history of mining life and politics. Having been a miner, a miner's wife, a member of a miner's family, or at a stretch, a member of a mining community, carries its own authority. Insofar as the narratives offered by individuals who can claim a mining identity are taken as authentic, they are regarded as self-explanatory and generally 'true'. Three instances from our encounters in recent years illustrate this: an academic speaker at a Working Class Studies conference offered the information that she was a miner's daughter to add weight to her analysis; a PhD student prioritised contact with miners' wives to access understanding of the Orgreave Truth and Justice campaign; a writer at a symposium presented the intergenerational stories of one female strike activist as representative of the history of all women in mining life.

Activist miners' wives have come to be seen as symbolic of the potential of all female working class struggle to create a better world. The ideal of the 'miner's wife' contains within it qualities such as loyalty, endurance, forbearance, selflessness. The activist wife is additionally brave and strong. Her commitment to justice and collective well-being exemplify the values of working class organisation, socialism and trade unionism. Yet the narrative piquancy of these imputed virtues rests upon the historically unequal sexual division of labour in mining life in which the partnership between men and women was ultimately framed by male power. The designation 'miner's wife' contains implicit gendered constraints. In the miners' strike, these constraints were challenged by the realities of female activism that included typically 'feminist' strategies of independent organisation, decision-making, and action. The process of collective female activism involved conversation and consciousness raising. However, to have acknowledged the feminist implications of this process would have disrupted the terms in which women could support the miners. In a predominantly male strike struggling for male jobs, led by the overwhelmingly male NUM, it was incumbent upon the women to manage gaps between expectation and reality in ways that did not challenge the masculine power of mining. Foregrounding the leadership of 'miners' wives' and a particular trajectory of activism in representing the women's struggle was a useful mechanism for achieving this.

Keywords: women's activism

Topics: Civil Society, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women

Year: 2019

Grievance and Crevices of Resistance: Maya Women Defy Goldcorp

Citation:

Macleod, Morna. 2017. "Grievance and Crevices of Resistance: Maya Women Defy Goldcorp." In Demanding Justice and Security: Indigenous Women and Legal Pluralities in Latin America, edited by Rachel Sieder, 220-41. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.

Author: Morna Macleod

Topics: Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Rights, Indigenous Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Americas, Central America, South America

Year: 2017

'Just Women’ Is Not Enough: Towards a Gender-Relational Approach to Water and Peacebuilding

Citation:

Schilling, Janpeter, Rebecca Froese, and Jana Naujoks. 2018. “‘Just Women’ Is Not Enough: Towards a Gender-Relational Approach to Water and Peacebuilding.” In Water Security Across the Gender Divide, edited by Christiane Fröhlich, Giovanna Gioli, Roger Cremades, and Henri Myrttinen, 173–96. Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Authors: Janpeter Schilling, Rebecca Froese, Jana Naujoks

Abstract:

Gender is a topic that every large development and peacebuilding organisation mainstreams in its programming. However, often “gender” implies a focus on women. We argue that this is not enough to utilise the full potential of a meaningful and effective integration of gender in specific projects, particularly in the peacebuilding and the water sector. The aim of this chapter is therefore to develop a first gender-relational approach to water and peacebuilding that will help researchers, practitioners and policy makers to better understand and integrate the multiple dimensions of gender. To achieve this aim, we first explore the main trends in and connections between gender on the one side and peacebuilding and the water sector on the other side, before we identify key gaps and crosscutting themes. Against this background, we develop a gender-relational approach based on questions to guide the integration of gender into water and peacebuilding. Our main method is a comprehensive review of the relevant academic literature and reports by key donors, and international development and peacebuilding organisations. Further, we draw on examples from Kenya and Nepal to conclude that a gender-relational approach to water and peacebuilding needs to go beyond a focus on “just women”. There is a need to incorporate heterosexual women and men, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons (LGBTI), explore the relations within and between these groups and include other identity markers in the analysis in order to generate a nuanced understanding of complex situations, and to develop effective programming in peacebuilding and the water sector.

Keywords: gender, water, peacebuilding, approach, Kenya, Nepal

Topics: Gender, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, LGBTQ, Peacebuilding Regions: Africa, East Africa, Asia, South Asia Countries: Kenya, Nepal

Year: 2018

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

Female Faces in Informal ‘Spaces’: Women and Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining in Sub-Saharan Africa

Citation:

Hilson, Gavin, Abigail Hilson, Agatha Siwale, and Roy Maconachie. 2018. "Female Faces in Informal 'Spaces': Women and Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining in Sub-Saharan Africa." Africa Journal of Management 4 (3): 306-46.

Authors: Gavin Hilson, Abigail Hilson, Agatha Siwale, Roy Maconachie

Abstract:

This paper critically examines how women employed in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) – low-tech mineral extraction and processing – in sub-Saharan Africa could be affected by moves made to formalize and support their activities under the Africa Mining Vision (AMV), ‘Africa’s own response to tackling the paradox of great mineral wealth existing side by side with pervasive poverty’. One of the main goals of the AMV is Boosting Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining, which requires signatories to devise strategies for ‘Harnessing the potential of small scale mining to improve rural livelihoods and integration into the rural and national economy’. Moves being made to achieve this, however, could have an adverse impact on many of the women working in ASM in sub-Saharan Africa. Findings from the literature and research being undertaken by the authors in Sierra Leone and Zambia suggest that whilst most women engaged in ASM in the region work informally and, as a result, face very challenging circumstances daily, many have adapted to their surroundings and now earn far more money than they would from any other income-earning activity. Governments must study these dynamics before taking action under the auspices of the AMV to formalize and support women in ASM.

Keywords: artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM), Sub-Saharan Africa, informal sector, women, poverty

Topics: Economies, Informal Economies, Poverty, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Livelihoods Regions: Africa

Year: 2018

Ethnicity, Gender, and Oil: Comparative Dynamics in the Ecuadorian Amazon

Citation:

Vallejo, Ivette, Cristina Cielo, and Fernando García. 2019. "Ethnicity, Gender, and Oil: Comparative Dynamics in the Ecuadorian Amazon." Latin American Perspectives 46 (2): 182-98.

Authors: Ivette Vallejo, Cristina Cielo, Fernando García

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
During the past decade, Ecuador’s Alianza PAÍS socialist government, primarily under the leadership of Rafael Correa, was committed to moving toward a post-neoliberal economy and implementing a “New Amazon” free of poverty, with expanded infrastructure and services, as part of the redistribution of oil revenues. However, in sites of state development projects, gender hierarchies and territorial dispossession in fact became more acute. Analysis of two place-based indigenous political ecologies—one in the central Amazon, where the state licensed new oil blocks in Sapara territory to a Chinese company in 2016, and the other in the Kichwa community of Playas de Cuyabeno in the northern Amazon, where the state company PetroAmazonas has operated since the 1970s—shows how women have reconfigured their ethnic and gender identities in relation to oil companies and the state in the context of rising and falling oil prices and in doing so reinforced or challenged male leaders’ positions in the internal structures of their communities and organizations.
 
SPANISH ABSTRACT:
Durante la última década, el gobierno socialista de Alianza PAÍS de Ecuador, princi- palmente bajo el liderazgo de Rafael Correa, se comprometió a avanzar hacia una economía posneoliberal e implementar una “Nueva Amazonía” libre de pobreza, con infraestructura y servicios ampliados, como parte de la redistribución de los ingresos petroleros. Sin embargo, en los sitios de proyectos estatales de desarrollo, las jerarquías de género y el despojo territorial de hecho se hicieron más agudos. Análisis de dos ecologías políticas indígenas basadas en el lugar—una en la Amazonía central, donde el estado otorgó licen- cias de nuevos bloques petroleros en el territorio de Sapara a una compañía china en 2016, y la otra en la comunidad Kichwa de Playas de Cuyabeno, en el norte de la Amazonía, donde la compañía estatal PetroAmazonas ha operado desde la década de 1970—muestra cómo las mujeres han reconfigurado sus identidades étnicas y de género en relación con las compañías petroleras y el estado en el contexto del alza y la caída de los precios del petróleo y, al hacerlo, refuerzan o desafían las posiciones de los líderes masculinos en la estructura interna de sus comunidades y organizaciones.

Keywords: neoextractivism, petroleum, ethnic identities, gender, Amazonia

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Ethnicity, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Infrastructure, Political Economies Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Ecuador

Year: 2019

Do Women Have a Right to Mine?

Citation:

Lahiri-Dutt, Kuntala. 2019. "Do Women Have a Right to Mine?" Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 31 (1): 1-23. 

Author: Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt

Abstract:

FRENCH ABSTRACT: 
Dans le présent article, l’auteure soutient que l’approche fondée sur les droits, telle qu’appliquée dans le contexte minier, s’appuie sur une interprétation limitée du concept des femmes. Les femmes sont généralement pensées comme étant en dehors du secteur minier et comme des victimes de l’oppression patriarcale. Une vision aussi incomplète du genre va à l’encontre d’une perspective féministe qui est nécessairement holistique, tout comme elle est éclectique dans son traitement des problématiques touchant les femmes. Pour justifier cet argument, l’auteure discute des résultats de recherches-actions menées dans des mines de charbon en Indonésie et en Inde orientale. Elle démontre comment l’approche fondée sur les droits, lorsqu’elle s’appuie sur une conception incomplète du genre, aliène la figure de la femme qui, bien que travaillant comme citoyenne économique à l’intérieur du secteur minier, généralement tout au bas de l’échelle, n’en est pas moins asservie.
 
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: 
This article argues that the rights-based approach, as applied in the context of mining, is based on a limited interpretation of women; women are construed as being located outside of the mining industry and as victims of patriarchal oppression. Such an incomplete focus on gender is contrary to a feminist perspective that is necessarily holistic as well as eclectic in its treatment of women’s issues. To substantiate the argument, this article offers examples of action research from coal-mining contexts in Indonesia and eastern India to show that the rights-based approach, when conceived partially, alienates the figure of the woman who labours as an economic citizen within the mining industry, usually at the very bottom of its structural hierarchy, and who is usually no less subjugated.

Topics: Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Livelihoods, Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2019

Digging for Rights: How Can International Human Rights Law Better Protect Indigenous Women from Extractive Industries?

Citation:

Morales, Sarah. 2019. "Digging for Rights: How Can International Human Rights Law Better Protect Indigenous Women from Extractive Industries?" Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 31 (1): 58-90.

Author: Sarah Morales

Abstract:

FRENCH ABSTRACT:
L’expansion des industries extractives dans les territoires des peuples autochtones a été et continue d’être un processus éprouvant pour les gouvernements, l’industrie et les peuples autochtones du monde entier. Bien que les avantages économiques liés au développement des ressources soient substantiels, on donne trop souvent priorité à ces considérations au lieu de voir les effets profonds et durables des répercussions pour les collectivités, sur le plan social et culturel, en particulier pour les nations autochtones. La recherche a démontré que ces répercussions sont aggravées quand les personnes se trouvent à la croisée de plusieurs collectivités, comme c’est le cas pour les femmes autochtones. Dans le présent article, on se demandera si les lois internationales concernant les droits de la personne peuvent ou non protéger efficacement les femmes et les filles autochtones contre les effets négatifs du développement de l’industrie extractive. En réfléchissant au droit à l’autodétermination, tel qu’il est présenté dans la Déclaration des Nations Unies sur les droits des peuples autochtones, l’auteure soutient qu’à notre époque d’extraction croissante, la meilleure façon pour faire en sorte que les lois internationales protègent les droits des femmes autochtones est de prévoir un mécanisme qui rendra opérationnelles les lois et les coutumes autochtones. Pour cela, il faut faire de la place aux femmes autochtones dans les processus de consultation afin qu’elles y partagent leur savoir et qu’elles puissent en influencer réellement le cours. La promotion des droits procéduraux des femmes autochtones est la meilleure façon d’assurer la protection de leurs droits substantiels corolaires.
 
ENGLISH ABSTRACT:
The expansion of extractive industries into the territories of Indigenous peoples has been, and continues to be, a challenging process for governments, industry, and Indigenous peoples all over the world. While the economic benefits of resource development are important, too often these considerations are emphasized at the expense of appreciating the deep and lasting social and cultural effects of these impacts on communities, in particular, Indigenous communities. Research has illustrated that these impacts are compounded when one considers those individuals at the intersection of these communities, such as Indigenous women. This article will examine whether or not international human rights law can effectively protect Indigenous women and girls from the negative effects of extractive industry development. By focusing on the right to self-determination, as captured by the United Nations Declaration on the Right of Indigenous Peoples, it argues that the most effective way international law can work to protect Indigenous women in this period of increased extractive development is by providing a mechanism through which Indigenous laws and practices can be operationalized. This means creating space during consultative processes for Indigenous women to share their knowledge and influence the process in a meaningful way. The promotion of the procedural rights of Indigenous women is the best way to ensure the protection of their correlating substantive rights.

Topics: Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, International Law, International Humanitarian Law IHL, International Organizations, Political Economies, Rights, Indigenous Rights

Year: 2019

A Rights‐Based Approach to Indigenous Women and Gender Inequities in Resource Development in Northern Canada

Citation:

Koutouki, Konstantia, Katherine Lofts, and Giselle Davidian. 2018. "A Rights‐Based Approach to Indigenous Women and Gender Inequities in Resource Development in Northern Canada." Review of Euorpean, Comparative and International Environmental Law 27 (1): 63-74.

Authors: Konstantia Koutouki, Katherine Lofts, Giselle Davidian

Abstract:

In recent years, there has been an influx of investment in the Arctic, particularly in relation to the extractive industries. Yet in spite of their economic potential, extractive industry projects come with considerable social and environmental risks for northern indigenous communities. Within these communities, the associated challenges of resource development are felt most acutely by women; however, there is a lack of research and analysis concerning the gendered dimension of resource development in northern Canada through the lens of indigenous women's human rights. This article proposes the adoption of a rights‐based approach to address this issue, suggesting that such an approach can provide a coherent framework for enhancing the inclusion and well‐being of indigenous women in resource development, helping to ensure that Canada meets its human rights and constitutional obligations while furthering its commitment to reconciliation with indigenous peoples.

Topics: Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Political Economies, Rights, Human Rights, Indigenous Rights Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2018

Women in Selected Rural Municipalities: Resilience and Agency against Vulnerabilities to Climate Change

Citation:

Meyiwa, Thenjiwe, Thandokazi Maseti, Sizani Ngubane, Tebello Letsekha, and Carina Rozani. 2014. “Women in Selected Rural Municipalities: Resilience and Agency against Vulnerabilities to Climate Change.” Agenda 28 (3): 102-14.

Authors: Thenjiwe Meyiwa, Thandokazi Maseti, Sizani Ngubane, Tebello Letsekha, Carina Rozani

Abstract:

The role of rural women in eradicating poverty and ending hunger has been recognised by both scholars and practitioners. There is an acknowledgement that women serve a critical role in the agricultural labour force, subsistence farming, and rural development in sub-Saharan Africa, yet their central role in food security has been largely ignored, particularly in policy (Govender, 2012). Although much of the labour of rural women is not nationally defined as economically active employment these women still spend long hours in undervalued productive and reproductive work to ensure the well-being of their households. Linked to this role is the challenge of dealing with rapidly changing climatic conditions. Women assume primary responsibility in fetching water and wood for meal preparation, and in tilling the ground. They are among the most vulnerable groups to climate change as a result of their precarious environmental livelihoods. Using data from a workshop with rural women to discuss climate change and qualitative interviews with rural women in selected rural communities in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal we explore the meaning of climate change. We report on the way climate change is understood, its effects on rural livelihoods and some responses to climate change problems experienced by the women in the communities. The women in the rural communities highlight that there are also social problems that have arisen from water scarcity. As a result of the household division of labour, rural girls confront particular challenges as they need to search further from home for water and are exposed to the risk of gender violence.

Keywords: rural women, Resilience, vulnerabilities, policy lessons, gender and climate change

Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Livelihoods, Security, Food Security Regions: Africa

Year: 2014

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