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Women’s Rights and Mining is an collaborative effort of NGOs, researchers and government organisations to secure commitments from key stakeholders in the mining sector to address key gender concerns

A guide for governments, companies and financial institutions to uphold women’s rights in the supply chains of minerals for renewable energy technologies

DO invest in women’s rights because women’s rights are human rights and need to be upheld. Additionally, investments in minerals supply chains that promote women’s rights can yield higher and more sustainable returns in terms of mineral production, poverty reduction and broader development effects.

DO assess and mitigate gender risks within your mineral supply chains, your programmes, and financial flows by setting up a human rights due diligence system to ensure that serious abuses are identified, addressed, prevented, mitigated and accounted for. This includes attention to female workers’ rights including occupational safety and health, gender-based violence (GBV) and sexual harassment that occur in mineral supply chains.

DO realize that women are disproportionally affected by environmental risks in mineral supply chains. Women experience environmental damage and degradation differently and more severely than men due to women’s role in food security and primary responsibility for management of household water and energy needs.

DO ensure that women’s voices are heard and their work in mineral production and trade is valued. Use inclusive and participatory approaches to raise women’s awareness about their rights and how to engage in important decision-making processes, such as their role in negotiating their community’s prior and informed consent to develop a mining project, access to land and compensation.

DO assess and optimize opportunities within your minerals supply chains, to advance women’s rights across mineral supply chains. Simply targeting the women with training at key points in the supply chain can ameliorate a range of inequalities, as can distributing a proportion of mineral royalties and taxes to respond to women’s priorities

DO insist on measures to realize women’s rights across mineral supply chains. Make it your good business practice to take practical actions to realize women’s rights, and expect affiliates, suppliers, customers, and other supply chain actors to do the same. Governments, companies and financial institutions can apply pressure and assist upstream suppliers active in the extraction, transport and trade of minerals to execute gender impact assessments to ensure their projects minimise harm and play a positive role in addressing gender inequality.

DO make a gender action plan and make your reports publicly available. Within the gender action plan, describe how to identify and address gender risks in your supply chain and incorporate practical opportunities to rectify gender inequality. Embed this in audits and annual reporting, using relevant indicators to monitor performance.

DO demonstrate leadership and commitment, including within company management systems, to show support for women’s rights comes from the top. Use leadership statements and organizational policies and procedures to communicate your commitment to gender equality and women’s rights both internally and externally to your suppliers and the public. Develop capacity internally and across your networks to build understanding of how gender inequalities are sustained in mineral supply chains and stimulate action to redress the balance.

DO introduce measures to counter risks of backlash as women become more empowered. Resistance and opposition may arise as the traditional domain of men is challenged and efforts to “keep women in their place,” ranging from sexual harassment and sexual and physical violence to threats and public humiliation, represent additional risks of serious abuses. Include these in your risk management plan and suggest adequate mitigation, monitoring and accountability mechanisms

DO get the facts and use them! There is a growing body of evidence on gender inequality and women’s rights violations in extraction, transport and trade of minerals. Support gender research and strengthen the evidence base. Ensure that your organization collects data sensitively on the gender dimensions of serious abuses.

News & Events


Women’s Rights and Mining at the OECD Forum

At this year’s OECD Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains, Women’s Rights and Mining is organising a partner session on the topic “How to safeguard gender justice in the energy transition?” on Wednesday, 26.4., 8:30-10:00 am (Room CC16, OECD Headquarters, Paris).


Scarce minerals and metals are needed to realize our renewable energy ambitions. We raise some questions on how this can happen in an inclusive and fair manner, without leaving anyone behind. Certain negative effects of mining have disproportionately been affecting women, through exclusion from jobs, sexual harassment, or dealing with water, land, and air pollution caused by mining. In this interactive panel, we discuss what is needed to realize a gender-just energy transition.


Mining Indaba 2023 (February 6-9)

The Mining Indaba conference 2023 takes place between February 6 and 9 in Cape Town, South Africa. The IGF together will Global Affairs Canada will host a side event at Indaba with the theme “Critical Minerals and the Future of Mining: Building a resilient future for women and communities” on February 8, 9:00-10:30 am (Southern Sun, The Cullinan hotel).


New Tool to Assess an Event’s Gender-Responsiveness

Women’s Rights and Mining (WRM) developed a new tool to retrospectively assess the gender-responsiveness of events. You can download the tool here: Retrospective Assessment Tool on Gender-Responsiveness of Mining Sector-Focused Knowledge and Information Events Guidance and Participants Questions


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What are the Gender Dimensions of Child Labour in Mining?

Child labour in mining is gendered. Girls and women primarily wash the minerals, sell food and products around the mining site, are involved in sex work in the mining area and perform household duties. Boys and men transport minerals, control the washing process and dig and extract the minerals. To address the root causes of child labour its consequences and its gendered dimensions, as well as avenues for intervention in artisanal and small-scale mines (ASM), the Women’s Rights and Mining (WRM) working group organised a virtual roundtable on June 16, 2022.


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