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The views expressed in this paper are the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the

views or policies of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), or its Board of Governors, or the governments they represent. ADB does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this paper and accepts no responsibility for any consequence of their use. The countries listed in this paper do not imply any view on ADB's part as to sovereignty or independent status or necessarily conform to ADB's terminology.

Gender, Development and the Extractive Industries

Ashlee Schleger

Who we are
CSRM is a research centre located in the Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI) at the University of Queensland. The centres work aims to improve the social performance of the extractive industries globally. Our focus is on the social, economic and political challenges that occur when change is brought about by resource extraction and development. We are a multi-disciplinary group of 30 researchers with knowledge of the extractive industry, both at the corporate and operational level.

What we do: not just minerals

Our work spans a range of thematic areas, covering the interactions between resource projects, communities and other stakeholders. We conduct applied research and provide education, training and professional development services.

Gender is socially constructed. It is acquired and learned behaviour/knowledge that is not naturally determined. Gender refers to roles and responsibilities of women and men, and the relationships between them. Gender roles vary depending on the cultural context and over time.

Extractive industries and impacts on women

Economic opportunities through employment and local business

But Negative impacts fall disproportionately on women I will talk about: Local employment In-migration Access to resources Engagement Agreement-making

Increased mobility, skill level and employability elsewhere

Improved infrastructure and wellbeing, e.g. health clinics. CD programs may increase womens empowerment Increased focus on human rights, addressing strategic gender issues Motivate local people to complete education, including women.

Local Employment
It is mostly men who gain employment within extractive industries. Some of the negative impacts on women include:
The division of labour can be significantly altered, sometimes very quickly Inflation of costs FIFO women manage households alone If men are injured women carry the burden in the domestic sphere Discrimination in the workplace

The influx of a transient male workforce, can bring social and health problems and have particular impacts on women and girls:

Access to resources (land and water)

Loss of land and displacement can lead to loss of livelihoods Environmental damage and degradation can undermine womens capacity to provide for their families. Being unable to provide for families can increase dependence on men. Relocation and resettlement can fragment communities and lead to social breakdown and the breaking of kinship ties. For women, displacement and re-settlement can involve separation from social and extended family support networks, increasing their isolation and vulnerability.

Women not always consulted or allowed to speak in public meetings sometimes because of cultural or workload reasons. The failure to consult with women when negotiating access to land, compensation and royalties disempowers women. Failure to adequately engage these women also means that their knowledge is not accessed, and their values arent considered in project planning. The exclusion of women from negotiations and compensation can exacerbate resentment and conflict with, and within, the local communities.

Benefit sharing agreements dont always benefit women.
Payments of compensation to men on behalf of families can often deny women access to and control over the financial benefits of mining. Men often deplete compensation funds through the consumption of status goods, drinking, gambling, prostitution and conflicts with competing male land-owners. Women-headed (or single) households may not receive payments if they do not have a male representative.



A gender perspective
The benefits and risks of extractive industries are often measured broadly at the community level, but fail to distinguish the impact on men and women.

Adopting a gender perspective is important i.e. how mining has a differential, disproportionate or unforeseen impact on women or men, boys or girls, as a result of their different social, cultural or legal roles, rights and responsibilities.
The consideration of gender is a lens through which impacts and human rights should be examined.


The development effectiveness and sustainability of extractive industry projects could increase significantly by taking into account how gender bias issues affect the extractive industry sector and how their activities can benefit men and women more equally.


Emerging Trends
Some increasing awareness about gender amongst industry
but not many explicit strategic responses

Appointment of a gender desk, but this can result in womens issues being treated as an aside Integration into impact assessment and CD
often a response to practical needs, not strategic needs

More research being under taken looking at the specific impact of mining on women.
impacts of FIFO on women indigenous womens employment gendered dynamics of agreement making
sexual health and exploitation (incl. violence)


Industry traction / raising awareness (amongst mostly male managers) Relating gender to human rights, social impact assessment and other management systems processes Ensuring that its about men and women and the relationships between them

Huge contextual challenges, drivers for gender discrimination are SO ingrained