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Gender Equality

Women are disproportionately burdened by the costs and impacts of the mining industry while harvesting minimal benefits. The reasons are complex and include longstanding social norms and economic inequalities. The absence of regulatory frameworks and sector-specific gender equality policies means women are continually excluded from decision-making processes in mining, which being underrepresented in the mining workforce, and face discrimination on mine sites. As a driving force for sustainable livelihoods, communities, and environments, women’s meaningful participation in mining is critical to move the sector towards sustainability.

The IGF works with communities, governments, industry, and academia to develop and implement mining-specific gender equality policies, programs, and frameworks. IGF’s publications leverage its expertise to promote evidence-based best practices, challenges, and recommendations to foster gender equality in mining.

Our Work on Gender

Investing in the Women Working in ASM is the Only Way Forward

Any effort to make ASM more economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable must address the acute challenges facing women in the sector.

How Will Women Fit Into the Mining Workforce of the Future?

Why does Gender Equality in the Mining Workforce Matter?

Gender Responsive Policies in Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining

A webinar where leading policy experts discussed gender-responsive government actions for the ASM sector. Speakers shared experiences from government and industry and discussed key questions.
Date of event:April 5th, 2022

Exploring the ILO’s Gender-Disaggregated Data on Mining Employment

Digging into the ILO's gender-disaggregated employment databases for a diverse set of mining nations.

Fostering Advocates for Gender and Mining Governance in 133 Nations

Our expanded e-learning course reached a wider audience, including French- and Spanish-speaking participants in Latin America and West Africa.

IGF’s New Resources Look at ASM Through a Gender Lens

Two new publications aim to help policy-makers and researchers better understand the difficulties that women face in ASM to support better environmental and social performance in the sector.

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 principles to achieve a more inclusive and equitable ASM sector globally.

Establishing Baseline Data for Women and the Mine of the Future

Women must be both heard in the workplace and seen in the data to continue to improve diversity, governance, and sustainability in the sector.

Growing Skills to Advance Gender Governance in Mining in 90 Countries

The IGF and partners launched a 4-week massive online open course Gender and Mining Governance that reached more 1,300 participants from 90 countries.

IGF-RMF Webinar | Regulatory Tools for Gender Equality in Mining

This presents recent research and experiences on company practices and government actions on gender equality in mining.
Date of event:September 28th, 2021

New Tech and Mining’s Future: Will prospects improve for women?

Mining is traditionally associated with heavy and manual-intensive labour. Accordingly, the mining sector is one of the most male-dominated sectors, with women making up only 5% to 10% of the large-scale mining workforce. In Mexico, women represented ...

Gender and Mining Governance E-Learning Course

Enroll now in this free Gender and Mining Governance e-learning course.
Date of event:September 13th, 2021 to October 10th, 2021

Five Ways Mining Policy-Makers Can Support Gender Equality through Community Development

We break down five recommendations for governments to establish good policy instruments that help remedy longstanding gender inequalities.

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 the risks and negative impacts of mining operations in their countries.

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 mining.

Gender in Mining Governance: IGF report offers 25 policies to address inequality

Global governments can take action to promote gender equality in the mining sector by following 25 policy options in our new report.

Disaggregated Data: The foundation of gendered impact assessments

Governments and mining companies need gender-disaggregated data to — which is severely lacking in the sector — to adequately address gendered impacts.

IGF-WIMOWA Gender and Mining Governance Workshop: Enhancing women’s voices and participation in West Africa

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

Gender and Mining Governance: Enhancing women’s voices and participation in West Africa

IGF is hosting a workshop on gender and mining governance for WIMOWA on November 26, 2020.
Date of workshop:November 26th, 2020

IGF Promotes Gender Equality and Environmental Management Through Goxi Consultations

The IGF is launching two consultations on Goxi to facilitate global dialogue about the gendered impacts of mining before project development, as well as best practices in environmental management in the sector.

IGF Provides Free Online Course on Gender Equality with EGP and UNDP

The IGF is joining forces with the Environmental Governance Programme and UNDP’s Learning for Nature to offer a free, four-week course on Gender and Mining Governance.

Four Ways to Spearhead Transformation for Gender Equality in Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining

Women make up a large portion of the ASM workforce, so how can we ensure gender equality in the sector? We break down four ways.
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 widespread understanding of their importance to ASM.

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, 2019, in Ottawa, Canada, at Carleton University.

Webinar: Gender Gaps and Mining

Join the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and UNDP Environmental Governance Programme (EGP) June 18 for a webinar exploring how governments strengthen their governance and policy responses to address gender gaps in the mining sector.
Date of event:June 18th, 2019

Casualty or Catalyst: Gender equality and the future of mining

We are pleased to invite you to our workshop June 12, 2019, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., at Carleton University to discuss gender equality and the future of mining.
Date of event:June 12th, 2019

15th Annual General Meeting : Mining in a Changing Climate

15th Annual General Meeting : Mining in a Changing Climate
Date of event:October 7th, 2019 to October 11th, 2019

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 Small-Scale Mining: Challenges and opportunities for greater participation.

Artisanal and small-scale mining

Challenging Cultural Norms in Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Crucial to Improving Women’s Economic Empowerment

Women who work in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) face economic, decision-making, legal and institutional exclusions due to cultural norms. This is the finding of a new report from the IGF.

Fostering Sustainable Livelihoods for Women in Artisanal and Small-scale Mining

With women in ASM facing so many challenges, how can we foster their economic independence and sustainable livelihoods? This column explores five ways.

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 more.

How Can Universities and NGOs Support Women in Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining?

In this guest blog, Dr. Harmony Musiyarira highlights how access to finance may be one of the biggest impediments to empowering women artisanal miners and what universities and NGOs can do to support women in ASM.

Why We Should Foster Economic Independence for Women in Artisanal and Small-scale Mining

The need to address gender equality and equity challenges in the ASM sector is crucial to positively impact women's economic empowerment, which IGF and Levin Sources explore in this joint column.

Global Trends in Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM): A review of key numbers and issues

IGF and IIED recently launched this report highlighting how rising mineral prices and the struggle to earn a living from agriculture have led to explosive growth in ASM.

Four Ways to Empower Women in Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining

Explore four ways gendered impacts of artisanal and small-scale mining can be minimized while promoting economic independence for women artisanal miners.