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Gendering the Field

Gendering the Field: Towards Sustainable Livelihoods for Mining Communities

Edited by Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt
Volume: 6
Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: ANU Press
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  • Book Info
    Gendering the Field
    Book Description:

    The chapters in this book offer concrete examples from all over the world to show how community livelihoods in mineral-rich tracts can be more sustainable by fully integrating gender concerns into all aspects of the relationship between mining practices and mine affected communities. By looking at the mining industry and the mine-affected communities through a gender lens, the authors indicate a variety of practical strategies to mitigate the impacts of mining on women's livelihoods without undermining women's voice and status within the mine-affected communities. The term 'field' in the title of this volume is not restricted to the open-cut pits of large scale mining operations which are male-dominated workplaces, or with mining as a masculine, capital-intensive industry, but also connotes the wider range of mineral extractive practices which are carried out informally by women and men of artisanal communities at much smaller geographical scales throughout the mineral-rich tracts of poorer countries.

    eISBN: 978-1-921862-17-5
    Subjects: Sociology, Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Foreword
    (pp. ix-xii)
    Katherine Gibson

    Though women all over the world toil as miners, and have done for centuries, mining is seen as a quintessentially masculine endeavour. Gendering the Field puts a definitive stop to the gender-blindness of such a view. We have Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt, the editor and a contributor to this book, to thank for this corrective move.

    For many years Lahiri-Dutt has championed the cause of women in mining. She has challenged the preoccupation of minority world feminist scholarship with women living in mining communities and argued for more analysis of women working at the actual mine-site. Her interest in women in mining...

  5. Glossary
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. Contributors
    (pp. xv-xviii)
  7. 1. Introduction: Gendering the Masculine Field of Mining for Sustainable Community Livelihoods
    (pp. 1-20)
    Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt

    This volume presents a selection of papers that were presented at an international workshop on ʹMining, Gender and Sustainable Livelihoodsʹ, organised to disseminate the results of an ʹaction researchʹ project.¹ The project endeavoured to integrate a gender outlook in one major mining companyʹs community development initiatives, and strengthen interdisciplinary approaches in examining the interface between gender, mining and sustainable livelihoods (EC 2007). Held in late 2008 in the Resource Management in Asia-Pacific Program (RMAP) of The Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, the workshop was, for a number of reasons, an important international event in the field of social and...

  8. 2. Modernity, Gender and Mining: Experiences from Papua New Guinea
    (pp. 21-32)
    Martha Macintyre

    While ideologies of human rights, gender equality and the elimination of discrimination underpin most large corporationsʹ employment policies, counter ideologies of gender difference often prevail in practice. Based on research on two major mining projects in Papua New Guinea (PNG), this chapter will explore the ways in which modern western and contemporary Papua New Guinean ideals of femininity, maternal responsibility and the family converge to exclude women from equitable treatment in employment. The chapter constitutes personal reflections and a critique of mainstreaming policies as inadequate to the task of ensuring gender equity in the context of mining in the developing...

  9. 3. Bordering on Equality: Women Miners in North America
    (pp. 33-48)
    Laurie Mercier

    Mining has often been upheld as the most ʹmasculineʹ occupation, and as one that traditionally prevents women from entering it, be it in sixteenth century Peru or twenty-first century South Africa. As many scholars have demonstrated, these restrictions are historical and social in nature, constructed to limit womenʹs employment and encourage their reproductive labour at particular points in time. Yet these have been enforced as if ʹnaturalʹ. In Canada and the US, two decades—the 1940s and 1970s—offer exceptions in womenʹs employment in mining and, therefore, some insights into how women and their advocates might dislodge gender barriers. The...

  10. 4. Sex Work and Livelihoods: Beyond the ʹNegative Impacts on Womenʹ in Indonesian Mining
    (pp. 49-66)
    Petra Mahy

    The highly gendered nature of the global mining industry has now been exposed by a number of academic commentators and activists who advocate the rights of local communities in relation to mining companies. This research is also now being recognised by international bodies such as the World Bank and the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM).² Large-scale mining around the world provides overwhelmingly male-dominated employment and tends to create and reinforce masculine-oriented cultures in the workplace and in mining towns. It is often argued that, as a consequence of this, women have been excluded from the direct economic benefits...

  11. 5. Experiences of Indigenous Women in the Australian Mining Industry
    (pp. 67-86)
    Joni Parmenter

    Around the world, research has shown that the introduction of large-scale mining adversely affects women in indigenous communities to a greater extent than men (Tauli-Corpuz 1997; Bhanumathi 2003; Bose 2004). A major factor that has contributed to adverse impacts experienced by women is that they have largely been excluded from negotiations concerning benefits from mineral development, including employment (Connell and Howitt 1991; Gibson and Kemp 2008). Organisations such as the World Bank and Oxfam now recognise the potential disadvantage experienced by women. They now insist on the inclusion of gender aspects in impact assessments and promote gender equality as ʹsmart...

  12. 6. Indigenous Women and Mining Agreement Negotiations: Australia and Canada
    (pp. 87-110)
    Ciaran OʹFaircheallaigh

    Agreements negotiated between mining companies and indigenous communities are increasingly important in setting the terms on which mining occurs on indigenous lands. This is particularly so in Australia and Canada, which are the focus of this chapter, but agreements are also becoming more widespread and important in developing countries. Their proponents view negotiated agreements as offering an opportunity to fundamentally change the distribution of costs and benefits from resource development. They argue that they do this by including provisions that limit the negative environmental, cultural and social effects of mining, and by allowing indigenous people to share in the wealth...

  13. 7. Gender-Based Evaluation of Development Projects: The LAST Method
    (pp. 111-132)
    Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt

    This chapter addresses three key research questions often posed in field-based and participatory development research: how to effectively integrate Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) into the project cycle; how to integrate a gendered approach to participatory surveys; and how to use an assets-based approach as opposed to a conventional needs-based assessment. The innovation in this chapter lies in the use of a recently developed asset-based participatory M&E method (Livelihood Asset Status Tracking or LAST), in combination with gender analysis, undertaken by participants to examine the impacts of community development projects on women and men in a coal mining region of East...

  14. 8. Women-Owned SMEs in Supply Chains of the Corporate Resources Sector
    (pp. 133-144)
    Ana Maria Esteves

    The creation of economic opportunities through the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and integration of these enterprises into the supply chains of large companies, has been promoted by international development agencies such as the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). A strong SME sector is considered to provide social benefits such as the empowerment of local communities and a path out of poverty. In developing countries, SMEs are also considered to have a positive impact on regional income distribution. Their labour intensiveness with low technological and capital equipment requirements provides employment for...

  15. 9. On the Radar? Gendered Considerations in Australia-Based Mining Companiesʹ Sustainability Reporting, 2004–2007
    (pp. 145-176)
    Sara Bice

    Australia-based mining companies¹ are inarguably devoting more attention and funds to sustainable development—certain companies now contribute one per cent of pre-tax profits to community programs and most undertake some form of sustainable development programs. The social and environmental impacts of mining, however, remain significant and are frequently negative (Atkinson and Community Aid Abroad Australia 1998; Auty 1993; Smith 2008). Academics, mining company representatives, governments and non-government organisations have devoted great attention to recording and analysing miningʹs impacts (For just a few of many examples, see: Emberson-Bain 1994; Klubock 1998; Vittori et al. 2006; Jones et al. 2007; Walton and...

  16. 10. Towards a Post-Conflict Transition: Women and Artisanal Mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo
    (pp. 177-196)
    Rachel Perks

    This chapter¹ represents a range of experiences by development actors, foreign donors, government and mining companies in response to the challenge of womenʹs issues in the artisanal mining sector of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).² Although some statistics and trends are common across the country, this chapter speaks more specifically to the contexts of Katanga Province and Ituri District of Orientale Province. It does not in any way attempt to generalise what is a very diverse economic and social environment. It draws from Pactʹs³ work within a public-private partnership aimed at improving governance and livelihoods in the DRC mining...

  17. 11. Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining: Gender and Sustainable Livelihoods in Mongolia
    (pp. 197-212)
    Bolormaa Purevjav

    The practice of artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) has grown considerably in Mongolia since the country transitioned from a socialist state to a market-based economy with a heavy reliance on mining and resource extraction. Calls to ban ASM due to lack of regulation and environmental and health concerns have failed to gain support because of the large numbers of the rural poor that have adopted ASM as a livelihood strategy to supplement diminishing incomes from agriculture. Instead, the Mongolian government has sought to regulate and reform the sector by offering skills training and increasing the capacity of ASM collectives. Women...

  18. 12. Gender Mainstreaming in Asian Mining: A Development Perspective
    (pp. 213-230)
    Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt and Gill Burke

    Gender is one of the defining features of mining in Asian countries. This is for several reasons: the traditional involvement of rural and poor women, often from indigenous and ethnic communities, in the mining workforce; the important roles women play in providing for the subsistence of families, leading to a greater burden of negative impacts of mining on poorer women; and lastly, the increasing feminisation of poverty and the informalisation of womenʹs work throughout the Asian countries. The rising commodity prices are expected to result in an expansion of mining in Asia, leading to an intensification of conflicts against social...