Skip to main content

Levelling up on gender in the EITI

Provisions in the 2019 EITI Standard aim to improve the participation of women in extractive sector governance and encourage the publication of gender-disaggregated data reflecting women’s participation in the extractive sector. A recent survey sheds light on how EITI implementing countries are progressing to meet these requirements.    

The 2019 EITI Standard aims to promote more inclusive participation in the extractive sector, acknowledging that the social, economic and environmental impacts of the extractive industries are often differently experienced by men and women, and that women tend to face greater barriers in accessing information and decision-making spaces. Women and men’s experiences in the sector are influenced not just by their gender, but also other socio-economic identifiers such as race and indigeneity.

In April 2020, the International Secretariat undertook a baseline study to understand how countries were positioned to meet the requirements of the EITI Standard. This analysis was refreshed in September 2021 and includes additional data on multi-stakeholder group (MSG) composition and ongoing gender work. The survey showed a substantial increase in the disclosure of gender-disaggregated data as well as some gains in the participation of women in the EITI process. Taken against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately affected women and girls and impacted the work of women’s rights groups, these results are encouraging.

Key findings

  • Women make up 24% of MSG representatives, up from 20% last year.
  • 19% of MSG chairs and 36% of national coordinators are women – last year’s figures were 12% and 38% respectively.
  • 60% of EITI countries publish some kind of gender-disaggregated information on employment, up from 33% last year.

Evaluating the data: Four areas of progress

1. Representation of women in multi-stakeholder groups: Some progress, but gaps remain

Women now make up almost a quarter of MSG representatives (up from one-fifth last year), and almost a fifth of MSG chairs. In five EITI implementing countries, half or more MSG members are women, and women make up a third of MSG representatives in a further nine countries. Latin America and the Caribbean again emerged as the region closest to gender parity. While this progress is welcome, there are 33 instances where MSG constituencies are only made up of men.

The review highlights progress and efforts that many MSGs and EITI stakeholders have made on gender issues. The role of the national secretariats was highlighted as being particularly important in driving gender issues and supporting and coordinating MSG efforts. Thirty-six percent of EITI national coordinators are women, a slight decrease from last year.

One of the obstacles to women’s representation on MSGs links to broader governance challenges (for instance in the nominations process and the independence of civil society). Furthermore, it will be important to ensure that participation is meaningful to ensure that any increase in women’s representation is not purely nominal. As gender-expert actors (such as women’s associations) increasingly start to support EITI countries’ gender-work, it is important that efforts are made to support their representation in the process itself.

It is difficult to contextualise progress without knowing how many opportunities there have been for turnover on MSGs; collecting this data in future would enable a fairer year-on-year comparison.  


2. Doubling of countries using EITI reporting to disclose gender-disaggregated and gender-relevant data

Thirty-three countries now disclose employment data disaggregated by gender, a rate that has nearly doubled since last year. Of these, 10 further break down the data by company and occupational level, while 17 disaggregate data by nationality, or local versus non-local employees, but not by occupational level. Germany published information on the salary gap between men and women, and Colombia’s upcoming report will contain a range of additional disclosures by companies, including on their gender policies.   

Of those that did not disclose gender-disaggregated data, three have not yet published EITI Reports and seven have not published reports since the adoption of the 2019 EITI Standard. Most countries that have published reports since the introduction of 2019 EITI Standard have included information on gender.

While there has been significant progress on publishing gender-disaggregated information on employment, EITI stakeholders emphasised the need for gender-related data that is relevant to women’s needs at the local level. This could include gender-disaggregated or gender-related information on local content or the use of local extractive revenues.

3. Integrating gender considerations into EITI communications and outreach

Integrating gender considerations into EITI communications covers a range of areas, including raising awareness of gender-related extractive governance issues, targeting women stakeholders and organising outreach events in a socially inclusive manner. Some countries have undertaken such work by conducting analysis on the obstacles women face in accessing information (e.g. Côte d’Ivoire), workshops targeting women and youth (e.g. Burkina Faso) and webinars on gender equality and the extractives (e.g. Colombia).

Operationalising gender-related work

Several EITI countries have pursued activities to support gender-responsive EITI implementation more broadly. In the Philippines, the MSG established a gender technical working group, designed to implement recommendations from a scoping study on gender issues related to large-scale mining. Several countries – including Burkina Faso,  Ecuador and Ghana – are conducting research to help inform their approach and work. Meanwhile, Ghana and Burkina Faso intend to develop a gender policy and roadmap respectively.

What happens next

Building on the findings on this study, the International Secretariat will undertake activities aimed at increasing the participation of women and diverse groups in EITI implementation by providing targeted support and capacity building on gender-related issues, updating technical guidance on gender-specific EITI provisions, strengthening engagement with international partners and sharing good practices.

The International Secretariat would like to thank stakeholders for participating in this study, which has ensured that up-to-date information on progress on EITI gender requirements can be published.   

Photo credit: Trafigura