Women in Mining

women in mining

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has endorsed various international initiatives to promote transparency, good governance, and traceability mechanisms in the exploitation of natural resources. But in all these undertakings, the number of women involved in the fight against natural resources poor governance is insignificant.

This project aims to train women to participate in the moniroting of the extractive industries.  SARW will train 25 women each year from all the 11 provinces.These women are expected to join and support the fight for accountability, transparency and participation in the management of natural resources.Women are the most affected by extractive industries activities. For example, the issue of water and air pollution, forced relocation, land expropriation without compensation, caused by this exploitation, is worsening women’s vulnerability, especially in rural areas where agriculture is the main activity.

This situation is promoting informal economic activities practiced by women, including revenue generating activities, conducted around exploitation sites in order to support their families. The image that the DRC currently projects, ranking 186/186 in Access to Basic Social Services Index; the high rates of corruption, especially in the mining sector, which is maintaining the country at the bottom of the ranking i.e. 170/183, has been the subject of various debates organised by OSISA with national and international Civil Society partners.

During these debates, including the latest organised by SARW on Peace Agreements and Conflict Minerals, participants have highlighted the need to involve more women, who are not only victims of natural resources bad governance but also key stakeholders capable of contributing to the promotion of good governance.

It is currently noticed, as regards the management of natural resources, that men are claiming all decision-making and management powers. Yet, men are at the heart of conflicts that adversely affect the populations, particularly mining communities. Women, who could very well play a defining role in the stabilisation of the country and in the promotion of rational exploitation of natural resources are excluded.  For instance, EITI DRC Executive Committee, which comprises 16 members, only has 3 women: 2 from the extractive sector and 1 from the government.

The civil society component (which sits on EITI DRC Committee) has no woman. It is therefore critical that women be trained, informed, and take part in decision making in the governance of natural resources, which are the drivers of the country’s economic develoThis project is the materialisation of OSISA-DRC Strategic Plan for 2013 which envisages supporting a group of dynamic women that would join the fight for transparency, citizen participation, and good governance in the extractive sector.

Hence, emphasis will be put on holding training sessions along the entire value chain of mining, oil, and forestry resources as well as on the legislative issues, various initiatives put in place in the sector. We will invite state authorities, scientists, Civil Society to produce training modules while visits to some extractive companies may be conducted. 

Congolese women have long been left out of the debates and policy making around natural resources governance. As a result, the definition of issues linked to women in relation to the exploitation of natural resources and proposed solutions are all done without women the very persons concerned.

However, even if women are given space, there are many women skilled and with knowledge to contribute positively.  While it is important and imperative to have a presence of active women in the promotion of natural resources good governance, it is equally necessary to prepare women for this challenging work.  

This project intends to provide women with knowledge and advocacy skills for them to intervene efficiently in the extractive industries. It will focus on women from three mining communities Moanda, Fungurume, and Kawama (who are being followed up by SARW), and other women from selected mining. This project will provide women in mining communities with the opportunity to know the policies for the management of natural resources.

Goals and Objectives

The overall objective of the project is to promote good governance of natural resources transparency by involving women in various initiatives being developed on the ground.

Project specific objectives are the following :

  • To equip women with the necessary tools so that they can advocate for good governance in  mining, forestry, and hydrocarbons resources;
  • To support the sharing of information among women on the impact of extractive industries.
  • To establish a network of women for natural resources; and
  • To design a plan for a regular upgrading of women skills.