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Gender Equality

Mining operations can change societies in profound ways, from transforming livelihoods to disrupting established community structures. These changes impact men and women differently in both large and small operations across the globe.

An estimated 40 million people work in the global artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector, with women making up about 50% of this workforce.

Despite their significant contributions to mineral production and related services, women continue to face marginalization in ASM that often sees them restricted to poorly paid roles and carrying the double burden of working in and outside their homes.

In large-scale mining, the drop-off from entry-level to executive roles for women is staggering. Women are underrepresented in decision-making roles and do not have access to the same retention and advancement opportunities compared to their male counterparts due to gender biases and discrimination in the workplace. Women’s meaningful participation in mining, whether in mining-affected communities or in the workplace, is a driving force for sustainable livelihoods, communities, and environments and is critical in moving the sector toward sustainability.


Women and the Mine of the Future

Rapid technological advances, increasing calls for sustainability, and the low-carbon energy transition are transforming large-scale mining across the globe. But the lack of high-quality, gender disaggregated employment data leaves decision-makers ill-equipped to effectively support a more equal and inclusive mining workforce. 

Our collaborative Women and the Mine of the Future project aims to increase understanding of the status quo for women in mining through accessible and granular data so stakeholders can anticipate, assess, and address gendered impacts as the sector evolves.

The Women and the Mine of the Future Global Report uncovers the gender-disaggregated employment profile for large-scale mining, focusing on women and their occupations in the sector.

E-Learning Courses

Do you want to strengthen your skills and knowledge to advocate for women in mining and affected communities?

  • The Fundamentals of Gender Equality and Mining Governance is a new 2-3 hour course that outlines actions for governments, industry, and civil society to fight women’s systemic exclusion, facilitate their meaningful engagement in mining, and help eliminate gender-based violence in mining communities. This course is free for anyone and can be completed in 2-3 hours. It is available now in English with French, Spanish, and Russian translations to be available soon.

This express course was developed by the IGF, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency through the Environmental Governance Programme. Its condensed curriculum is based on a more in-depth course created by the partners.

  • The Gender and Mining Governance goes more into more depth with six modules, fully translated in English, French, and Spanish.

Improving Women’s Well-Being Through Mining Policy

Many governments face a similar challenge: mining laws and regulations do not mainstream the principle of gender equality or acknowledge women as active participants in the sector.

We provide capacity building, technical assistance, events, and publications for policy-makers to build legislative frameworks promoting women’s participation in the mining workforce and the active inclusion of local communities and women in mining governance.

This enables governments to support not only gender equality but poverty eradication, healthy natural landscapes, and social development.

We work with governments to establish legislative frameworks, policy options, and tools to:

Our work with policy-makers helps remedy inequalities exacerbated by the sector and empower women and girls impacted by mining operations.

Additional Resources

Leveraging Technologies for Gender Equality in Mining Communities: Case studies from the Democratic

How can sharing technological infrastructure support gender equality and serve the broad betterment of mining communities?

Parental Leave Policies in the Mining Sector

An in-depth look at international and national parental leave frameworks and policies across 12 countries.

Integrating Gender Equality and Mine Closure: Actions for governments

A report on how mine closure and gender equality intersect and how governments can ensure that closure practices and policies integrate gender considerations.

Gender Impact Assessments: Breaking the pattern of inaction

Report on the IGF and Global Affairs Canada co-organized event focused on how key actors can support more inclusive gender impact assessments in the mining sector.

Women and the Mine of the Future Global Report

Uncovering the gender-disaggregated employment profile for large-scale mining, focusing on women and their occupations in 12 countries.