Women & Mining

Mining policy and practice are increasingly affecting the lives of women and their communities. Without free prior informed consent and effective community consultation, transparency, regulation and control the extractive industry has been seen to cause environmental degradation, loss of land and livelihood, increased poverty, human rights violations and increased community conflict.

Women are generally excluded from or less likely to benefit from compensation or economic opportunities associated with mining development. Women are also more severely affected by and bear the greater burden of negative health, social and environmental impacts of the extractive industries. In the last decade, fueled by intense demand and weak mining and environmental laws, Latin America has emerged as a leading destination for mining investment. Women who oppose mining practices in Latin America are among the most vulnerable human rights defenders in the region.

Mining companies have increasing influence on human development, gender equality and women’s rights in affected communities. Women and men are affected differently by mining practices and in this way mining has specific impacts with respect to gender relations and women’s empowerment. Mining affects women and their communities in four key areas: (1) land rights and compensation; (2) environmental degradation; (3) health and social impacts; and (4) human rights. Associated violations of women’s human rights are a direct result of gender-insensitive mining policy and practice, insufficient gender analysis and planning and the lack of meaningful participation in policy development and ineffective community consultation.

Gender Mainstreaming and Mining

LAMMP supports women in their campaigns for responsible mining policy and practice, within a framework of gender mainstreaming, environmental sustainability and respect for the human rights of affected women and their communities.

LAMMP seeks to make visible those corporate policies and practices that discriminate against women and erode their human rights, concentrating on four key themes:

Key Themes
  • Impact of mining-related environmental degradation on women;

  • Impact of mining-related health and social issues on women;

  • Impact of gender insensitive mining policy development and practice on gender inequality and the marginalisation of local women and their specific concerns;

  • Impact of human rights violations and the criminalisation of mining activism on women.