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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.

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.

Bolstering Gender and Mining Governance Through Data

Large-scale mining faces fundamental challenges, from technological upheavals to a rising demand for critical minerals for a low-carbon transition.

The gendered implications of these transformations are difficult to measure due to a lack of detailed and comparable data.

Our project, Women and the Mine of the Future, 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.

Women and the Mine of the Future
Gender and Mining Governance E-Learning Course

Additional Resources

Global Review: Integrating Gender Into Mining Impact Assessments

There are numerous ways to analyze and document the potential and ongoing impacts of a mining operation on people from different genders, ages, and sociocultural backgrounds. This repo

Gender in Mining Governance: An annotated bibliography for artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM)

An annotated bibliography listing key resources for researchers exploring the topic of gender and artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM).

Gendered Impacts of COVID-19 on Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM)

The report includes three cases studies covering the experiences of women in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) in Zimbabwe, Peru, and the Philippines before outlining some key prin

Gender in Mining Governance: Opportunities for policy-makers

This report provides governments with a series of 25 policy options that will help ensure their mining frameworks support the social and economic advancement of women while minimizing t

Gender in Mining Governance: An annotated bibliography for large-scale mining

In this extensive mapping, the IGF showcases a compilation of articles, reports, guidelines, and policy documents that explore the role of gender in mining governance in large-scale min

IGF-WIMOWA Gender and Mining Governance Workshop: Enhancing women’s voices and participation i

This report covers how IGF developed and delivered a tailored workshop on gender and mining governance for stakeholders in 13 West African nations.

Case study on women in artisanal and small scale mining

Skills Building for Women in Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining

Women play a crucial role in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM). While their challenges in the sector have been studied extensively, increased effort is needed to create a more wide

Casualty or Catalyst: Gender equality and the future of mining

The IGF, Carleton University and the Canadian International Resources and Development Institute co-hosted Casualty or Catalyst: Gender equality and the future of mining on June 12,

Women in Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining: Interventions for greater participation

This case study highlights how to improve women’s participation in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM), complementing the IGF’s previous report, Women in Artisanal and Sm

Women in Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining: Interventions for greater participation

This report highlights the key challenges and opportunities women in ASM face, including access to finance, access to equipment and technology, institutional support and services and mo