Gender and extractive sector governance


Ensuring equal participation in decision making on the extractive sector is critical to addressing inequalities and ensuring that the sector is managed in the interest of all citizens. By recognising and promoting the participation of women in the extractive sector – as employees, business owners, community members and decision makers on resource governance – governments and companies can ensure that resources are managed more equitably.  

Publishing gender data helps governments and companies formulate policies that promote greater gender equality.  

Why is equal participation in the extractive industry important?

The social, economic and environmental impacts of the extractive industries are often differently experienced by men and women. Women are more vulnerable to the negative impacts of extractive activities and less likely to have influence over how they are managed. For example, women may be excluded from community consultations and decisions on the allocation of extractive revenues. They may have reduced access to job opportunities.

Tracking female employment in the extractive sector is central to understanding how the benefits of the sector are being shared. Employment data can be used to inform strategies to encourage equal employment. Likewise, assessing the impact of corporate social expenditure on women can help direct this expenditure equitably. Enabling women to have access to information relating to revenues from the sector will help them better understand how extractive operations may affect their communities and how the benefits are being shared.

Key benefits

Benefits for governments

  • Ensuring there is both male and female representation on decision-making bodies can result in more informed decision making on the future of the sector. The impact of the resource sector on other indicators of development, such as health, employment and education, is then likely to be more significant. 

Benefits for citizens

  • Policies on the equal participation of women in the extractive sector will be improved if they are grounded in data and discussed by a diverse range of stakeholders. Gender transparency can help promote equal employment opportunities and more equal access to the economic benefits that extractive operations create.

  • Ultimately, gender transparency helps ensure all citizens benefit from extractive sector resources. Targeted dissemination of data to women and women’s group helps promote more inclusive debate on the management, impact and benefits of extractive sector activities.

Benefits for companies

  • Company operations are more likely to be sustainable where there is trust from the wider community. Communities have higher levels of trust in companies that communicate openly with all stakeholders.

  • According to research conducted by Mckinsey on a sample of over 1,000 companies, businesses with high gender diversity are more likely to have higher financial returns than industry peers. They will find it easier to recruit the best talent, meet regulatory requirements for a diverse workforce and build their reputation as responsible companies. They will also perform better on social responsibility indicators tracked by investors.

Using gender data

Senegal focuses on diversity

With women making up less than 10% of the workforce in Senegal, data on employment figures released by Senegal EITI has fed into public debate on diversity in Senegal’s extractives industry. Civil society groups such as Women in Mining (WiM) Senegal have used this information to advocate for reforms, such as the inclusion of women in the supply chain and in local extractives sector policies and projects.

Assessing the benefits of social payments by extractive companies

Several countries – including Ethiopia and Zambia – disclose gender-sensitive data on social expenditures by extractive companies. This information can help track the extent to which social payments meet priorities identified by women and are used to benefit women’s groups in areas hosting extractive operations.

Trending: the publication of gender data

One-third of EITI implementing countries have published gender-disaggregated employment data, either as a percentage of total employees or in absolute figures as disclosed by reporting companies. For many countries, their most recent EITI report was the first time that this data was made public. One example is Madagascar, which was able to include data disaggregated by companies and by role in its recent reporting. 

Progress towards gender diversity in EITI bodies

In a survey in mid-2020, the International Secretariat found that 12% of multi-stakeholder groups were led by women, and that 38% of National Coordinators – those leading EITI implementation bodies – were also women. Some countries have already taken steps to improve gender balance on multi-stakeholder groups. One example is Afghanistan, which is developing a Gender and Diversity Policy. This sets a minimum percentage for women’s representation and strongly encourages each stakeholder group to identify female candidates when deciding on its representatives.  

Using data to boost the employment of women in mining in the Philippines

A study was completed in the Philippines in October 2020, to better understand the role and experiences of women in the country’s large-scale mining sector. It found that women have a share of direct employment in the sector of less than 1% and that mining operations appear to have had little significant positive impact on their economic situation. The report recommended measures to better understand and address gender-based barriers to female employment, to eliminate discrimination against women and to promote greater equality.

Our data on gender distribution in the extractive industries forms the basis for debate and initiatives to empower more women to participate in the sector and contribute further to Senegal’s economy.
Awa Marie Coll-Seck, Minister of State, Senegal and President, National Committee of Senegal EITI (CN-ITIE)

Requirements for EITI implementing countries

The 2019 EITI Standard included provisions on gender for the first time. These provisions aim to improve the participation of women in extractives sector management and encourage the publication of data by gender.  

Requirement 1.4 requires multi-stakeholder groups and each constituency within multi-stakeholder groups to consider gender balance in their representation.

Requirement 6.3 requires implementing countries to report employment figures for the extractive industry disaggregated by gender and, when available, by company and occupational level.

Requirement 7.1 requires implementing countries to consider access challenges and information needs of different genders and subgroups of citizens.

Requirement 7.4 encourages implementing countries to document how gender considerations and inclusiveness have been taken into account in strengthening the EITI’s impact.

Helpful resources for implementation

  • EITI guidance: Our Guidance Note on EITI Requirements 1.4, 6.3, 7.1 and 7.4 provide step-by-step guidance on gender responsive EITI implementation.

  • Empowering communities: In 2020, we undertook research to scope out how we might broaden and deepen local civil society engagement in natural resource governance. The research was located in three pilot countries – Colombia, Ghana and Indonesia. It touched on the needs of groups such as women and girls in accessing EITI data.

  • NRGI analysis: An analysis by the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) examines how extractive sector legal and policy documents contribute to gender equity.

  • Feminist natural resource governance: A seminar series by Publish What you Pay (PWYP), Oxfam and other partners examines gender justice in natural resource governance.

  • Transparency International tool: The third edition of the Mining Awards Corruption Risk Assessment (MACRA) tool includes guidance on incorporating gender-related issues to make the corruption risk assessment gender sensitive.