Advancing gender equality in natural resource governance is central to CIRDI’s operational values, strategic priorities, and aspirations of a world where resource-led development generates equitable benefits for all.
As a globally recognized and respected tool to improve transparency and accountability in the extractive sector, the Extractives Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) has many laurels to its credit. However, attention to gender dynamics and an understanding of how these dynamics affect the composition of the EITI’s stakeholder constituencies, chosen metrics and policy impact have not been systematically addressed to date.
That status quo may be set to change. A number of proposals on gender issues are being tabled by civil society stakeholders at the next EITI board meeting to take place on 26-28 February 2019 in Ukraine. The EITI Board deliberates on member countries’ progress with implementing the EITI Standard and other policy issues related to the EITI’s mandate.
As our colleague Rebecca Iwerks at NRGI persuasively conveys, the tabled proposals aim to remedy the forum’s inadvertent gender biases by requiring gender considerations to be integrated into membership and data dissemination approaches, gender-disaggregated employment data disclosures, and surveying member governments’ use of gender-responsive budgeting.
CIRDI strongly supports these proposals as a positive step forward to advance progress on Sustainable Development Goal 5, which seeks to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
Dr. Priya Bala-Miller, Director of Partnerships and Program Development notes “Our broad portfolio of extractives-related work over the past five years confirms what many observers, academics and policymakers already know – that by and large, women are streamed into the most hazardous, dirty and precarious jobs in the extractives industry, while simultaneously bearing the brunt of the sector’s negative socio-environmental impacts.”
As CIRDI’s gender strategy also makes clear, the marginalization of women’s voices from resource policy and governance forums roadblocks women’s agency, ideas and solutions for the long-term development of the extractives sector. Improved disclosures from EITI members on gender-relevant metrics will go some way towards addressing a serious lack of aggregated data-driven analysis on how governance and transparency issues affect men and women differently. Creating a more inclusive stakeholder profile will also maximize the EITI as a pathway for the participation of diverse voices in global resource governance discussions.
On the civil society proposals at the EITI Board Meeting, Dr. Bala-Miller added: “The members of EITI’s board can choose to act in a way that positions them on the right side of history, and spurs urgently-needed action to challenge existing gendered inequalities that impede natural resources from acting as catalysts for inclusive and sustainable economic development. We hope their deliberations result in the unanimous endorsement of these proposals.”
To learn more about how CIRDI advances work on gender, the EITI and resource governance, meet CIRDI Research Fellow Delgerma Boldbaatar and check out her new article on the EITI in Mongolia, co-authored with Dr. Nadja Kunz and Dr. Eric Werker.