The World Bank Group Global Conference on Gender and Oil, Gas and Mining: New Frontiers of Progress, Challenges and Solutions

Published: 19/12/2017

The World Bank Group Global Conference on Gender and Oil, Gas and Mining: New Frontiers of Progress, Challenges and Solutions
June 27 – 28th 2018

Oil, gas and mining can potentially bring significant growth and development opportunities to resource-rich countries and host communities. The gendered dynamics of asset ownership, labour, livelihoods and decision-making in resource-producing communities mean that men and women are affected in very different ways by extractive industries. For men and women, mineral resources can provide opportunities for a better life, including increased employment, access to revenues, small and medium businesses can flourish in the associated supply chain and expanded investment in the local community. Working with and investing in women makes good business sense. For example, a growing number of companies are recruiting women in their workforce in technical positions, as they have often found women employees to have an impressive safety record and reduced maintenance of equipment.1

In many countries, however, women have been largely excluded from these benefits, while being at the same time disproportionately vulnerable to a range of health, social and environmental risks associated with the oil, gas and mining industry. Women, youth, indigenous people and people living in rural areas are often most remote from decision-making processes, yet often the most affected by large-scale resource operations. Women’s exclusion from decision-making processes profoundly affects the ability of policymakers, development partners and industry to assess and manage/mitigate the impact of resource operations on communities 2.

In December 2015, the World Bank Group (WBG) launched its Gender Strategy outlining the support that the WBG would provide to clients during FY16-FY23 to achieve greater gender equality. The Strategy’s priorities areas for engagement over the next three years to close gender equality gaps. These are to: (i) improve human endowments: education, health, and social protection. (ii) remove constraints for more and better jobs. (iii) Remove barriers to ownership and control of productive assets. (iv) enhance women’s voice and agency and engaging men and boys. To achieve meaningful progress in meeting these priorities, the World Bank Group is interested to know more about what other organizations and practitioners are doing in this space, and learn from each other’s experiences.

1 World Bank. Gender in Extractives Industries. November 21, 2013.
2 Sweetman, C. and Ezpeleta, M. (2017) Introduction: Natural Resource Justice. Gender and Development, 25(3):353-366

Objectives of the Conference
The main objective of the conference is to share and build knowledge among practitioners and scholars working in the gender and oil, gas and mining space. Particularly, the conference will:
i. Provide a platform on knowledge sharing and development on project implementation and innovative approaches on addressing gender and oil, gas and mining.
ii. Discuss the progress made by various stakeholders so far in attaining inclusive oil, gas and mining sectors, assessing gender gaps, identifying remaining challenges and existing opportunities for addressing these
iii. Propose ways and means of further collaboration to attain greater integration of gender equality in the oil, gas and mining sector

Call for Papers and Presentations
To that end, the World Bank Group is issuing a call for case studies from interested stakeholders. Case studies may take the form of full papers or may simply be power point presentations and may include visual media. The case studies should discuss innovative ways in which gender is being addressed in the oil, gas and mining sector. Possible topics include the impact of gender dimensions of oil, gas and mining activities/operations and benefits on:
• Human endowments in education, health, and social protection.
Hazardous work practices in the mining industries can have adverse health impacts on women, in particular in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) operations. In large-scale extractives projects, the influx of temporary workers into project areas can lead to increased GBV incidents and higher transmission rates of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases. Impacts of operations on environment mining, such as air and water pollution, can also pose health risks for women, particularly impacts on their reproductive health. Wider gender norms and occupational expectations, cultural barriers, and lack of encouragement from parents and teachers, could deter girls in resource-rich communities from pursuing education in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) mining sectors.
• Employment, entrepreneurship and jobs-creation
Oil, gas and mining operations often create direct and indirect jobs. In some cases, women benefit directly from these jobs and from jobs created along the supply chain, such as in catering or laundry. Women also make up over 40% of the ASM labor force globally, but they earn typically a third of their male counterparts, as they are often relegated to the least remunerative jobs in the value chain. In industrial operations (oil, gas and mining), only 5%-11% of the workforce are women, most reasons varying from complex causes like cultural norms (still not acceptable for women to work in remote areas and for longer shifts) or lack of relevant skills or simply lack of access to information about potential opportunities for work in the sector. women make up less than 30% of the skilled labor force as mechanization leads to some unintended consequences such as the elimination of the (already few) manual labor roles that women typically occupy. Women’s underrepresentation in formal and managerial roles in these sectors is also closely linked to their low representation in STEM fields, which prevents them from acquiring the specific skill sets necessary to work at better-paying skilled positions in mining sectors.
• Ownership and control of productive assets such as land, finance and capital and technology
Productive assets such as land are rarely controlled by women in most mineral rich developing countries. Land may be communally-held and allocated to families headed by men. Women can lose their income generation activities due to land acquisition or land replacement during relocation for oil, gas and mining activities. In the mining sector, women often struggle to become owners of mine titles. Lack of access to finance also affects women that want to start a supply business or wish to finance a mining operation themselves. Several factors contribute to this: family law that prevents women from asset ownership (particular land ownership) and business law that prevents women from opening bank accounts without family male consent; and difficulties in developing and presenting confidently business plans to banking institutions. Lack of capital or access to fair credit opportunities infringes on women’s ability to build service supply businesses responding to company demands along the supply chain of mining operations.
• Voice and agency in service delivery, and gender-based violence
Decision-making processes around oil, gas and mining projects privilege male stakeholders by the patriarchal power structures present in most resource environments. Evidence shows that women are often excluded from community consultations and negotiations due to gender and cultural norms and gender insensitive design of such meetings such as timing, lack of childcare, or transportation. Large-scale oil, gas and mining projects can result in a temporary influx of male workers to project areas during construction, which leads to increased risk for Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) the spread of STDs and family disruptions. The restructuring of traditionally male-dominated sectors, such as extractives, can disrupt culturally established social norms and roles on masculinity and femininity. Social empowerment of women and sensitive approaches in women participation in negotiations of benefits packages, complemented by gender sensitization programs for and working with men may create opportunities to increase women voice and agency.

The case studies can be prepared to cover one or more pillars. The case study should identify and discuss the challenges, the opportunities and interventions, and the lessons learned.
Those interested should submit a 500-word abstract by January 31st 2018 to The Organizing Committee will evaluate all submissions in terms of originality and relevance. Authors of accepted submissions will be contacted by February 29th 2018, at which time they will be invited to send a full paper or a detailed presentation no later than one month prior to the conference. For those who are submitting full papers, a special issue on Gender and Mining has been secured with the Extractive Industries and Society journal. All successful papers will be given the opportunity to publish their paper in this special issue.

A small amount of funding will be made available to support travel and subsistence costs for some participants. This will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Additional information on the overall conference program will follow over the coming months. All questions in relation to this call for case studies can be directed to