In 2016 Zimbabwe has been identified by WoMin, a regional alliance working on gender & extractives in 14 countries across the African continent, as a pilot country, together with Sierra Leone, for the implementation of a research and advocacy project on “Extractivism, Militarisation, Securitisation and Violence Against Women”, which will start in 2017 for a period of three years.
CNRG is the Zimbabwean ally chosen to work in partnership with WoMin at national level in order to lead and coordinate activities with the other national CSOs and partners which will take part to the project, with the aim to “strengthen the capacity of African civil society organisations to undertake an integrated women-centred and women-led response to the systemic problem of repression and violence, and most specifically violence against women, related to extractives industries and mega-development projects.
Background to the Project
Whilst discussions on extractives have typically revolved around the impact of mining on environment and on the seemingly inescapable nexus between natural resource extraction and violent conflicts, little attention has been given, so far, to the repercussions of extractive activities on the life of mining communities, in particular with regards to women. The focus on violence against women (VAW), frequently occurring in the context of extractive activities, has been repeatedly missed or overlooked in the work of human rights networks and coalitions, despite the greater vulnerability of female villagers in rural areas in resource-rich countries, due to their overall poorer socio-economic status and to the traditionally patriarchal structure of society in many African countries.
Indeed, since its inception, extractivism as a “developmental model” has been accompanied by episodes of violence and dispossession of people’s land, livelihoods and homes, repression of residing communities, destruction of environment and ecosystems. Furthermore, military and private security companies (PSCs) have been increasingly deployed to secure the realisation of States and corporate agendas, usually acting in a climate of complete impunity and lack of accountability. In the majority of African countries, despite the adoption of the Africa Mining Vision (AMV) in 2009, which attempts to provide a comprehensive strategy for Africa’s mineral resources rich countries, so far the extractivist-led industrialisation paradigm have failed in the road towards modernisation and broad-based development, revealing inherently violent and fomenting inequalities, discrimination and marginalisation of rural people across the continent.
In particular, gender-specific forms of violence have become commonplace in extractive and related industries, mostly due to the invisibility of women’s work, the reduced opportunities of education and employment, their confinement non-economic activities or to the domestic sphere. Therefore, the need for a deeper focus on the traditionally overlooked gendered impact of extractive industries and VAW, which might also serves as a starting point to address wider structural questions on the “conflict-natural resources nexus” and to explore other truly sustainable and gender-sensitive alternatives to development.
Main Objectives of the Project
1)Build/deepen a network of CSOs / Women’s Rights organisations / Human Right’s & Environmental organisations and movements working on extractives and VAW from different angles, with the aim to:
To repression and VAW around extractive industries
2) Identify capacities of local and national CSOs already in place and the areas of support needed nationally and regionally to implement the project
3) Conduct Feminist Participatory Action Research (PAR) workshops at national and regional level to serve as platforms for sharing experiences, exchanging of best practices, learning how to work in risky contexts and how to deal with women victims of violenc
4) Implement a detailed and accurate review of legal and policy frameworks available and national and regional level to conduct advocacy action (African Commission of Human & People Rights)
5)Identification of cases study to initiate legal action and ensure compensation to victim
6) Developing a national / regional plan to address the gendered impact of extractivism over the next 3 years
“EXTRACTIVISM, MILITARISATION, SECURITISATION AND VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN”
CONSULTATIVE MEETING HELD IN HARARE – ZIMBABWE
Thursday 10 November 2016, Mandel Training Centre
On Thursday, 10th November 2016, a consultative workshop has been co-hosted by CNRG & WoMin in Harare, with the aim to convene key organisations working on the themes of the proposed project or related issues across Zimbabwe, brief them about the main issues to be covered and invite them to share inputs and ideas about the conceptualisation and planning of the work ahead. See below for photo gallery of the workshop.