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International Women’s Day 2017- In pursuit of alternatives to destructive extractives in Zimbabwe

The month of March holds a special place in my heart as women from different backgrounds converge in order to share their successes, assess their shortfalls and collectively seek ways to strengthen their voices against retrogressive forces that hinder their realization of their basic rights. However, women in mining communities have little to celebrate within the Zimbabwean context, given the ever increasing discrimination against women in the recruitment of workers, increasing incidences of violence against women, limited food security options, coupled with unwanted pregnancies from foreign mine workers and the need for developing realistic alternatives to the destructive mining practices. This year’s international women’s day’s broader theme ‘women in the changing world of work’ is a call for civil society, government ,donors and the private sector to reflect on the working conditions of women employed in extractive industries. Further, the global call for women to #BeBoldForChange is a rallying point for women and men to show solidarity with marginalised women in mining communities whose voices have been silenced by the harsh conditions in their contexts, as state machineries have not played their part in improving the living conditions of women in extractive industries. It is also a call for stakeholders to focus on changing the lives of women not only working in extractive industries but also those living close to the mining companies.

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Remember to Recognise. Recognise to Reconciliate. Reconciliate to Restore Peace and Justice. We Are Not Alone

Yesterday, 1 November 2016, more than 500 people gathered together in Marange, a vast diamond field stretching over 66,000 hectares in the east of Zimbabwe, near to the Mozambican border, to remember all those who lost their lives, lands and livelihoods in one among the saddest page of post-independence Zimbabwean history.

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Women Artisanal Miners Join the Penhalonga Gold Rush

Gold and diamond panning has traditionally been associated with uncivil, fierce-looking men, with women often expected to perform more feminine roles. However, this widely shared societal perception has been debunked as over the years more women have joined the once male-dominated mining sector. Desperate to feed their families, it is a common sight in Penhalonga to observe artisanal female gold miners tapping into this once predominantly masculine working environment.

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CNRG goes to Brazil! Insights from the 13th AWID Forum

Centre for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG) was part of a Southern African delegation (with support from Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa-OSISA) that participated at the 13th Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) held in Bahia, Brazil from the 8th to the 11th of September 2016. The theme of the forum was entitled ‘feminist futures: building collective power for rights and justice’.

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Neo-extractivism & the new scramble for African resources

Reflections from the SADC People Summit 2016    N.B. The views expressed are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of the organisation   In our age of hypercapitalism, characterised by the unbridled expansion of consumerism, the spread of offshore financial centres and the growingly de-territorialised nature of economic actors, the so-called “paradox of plenty” appears to be an inescapable trap for naturally well-endowed countries in Africa. The global resource boom and the explosion of mining activities in the continent, almost totally controlled by transnational corporations (TNCs), is undoubtedly a lucrative business for greedy and aggressive companies which easily find their way into heavily corrupt countries, offering loose regulatory frameworks and consolidated neopatrimonial practices. The access to raw materials and natural resources has been progressively handled to TNCs over the past decades through the shortsighted and Western-centred imposition of what is known as the “Washington consensus”, a series of economic policy prescriptions, laid down by Washington based international financial institutions (IFIs), promoting unrestrained trade liberalisation and financial deregulation in highly indebted developing countries in the global South. Leaving aside the debate around the concept of “odious debt”, and the extent to which is it fair and just for the citizens of those countries to bear the burdens of loans from which they have received no benefits, is it however undeniable that the same international economic architecture, rooted in the neo-liberal dogma of perfect competition and the “invisible hand” of markets maximising common good, has offered the perfect shield for the neo-colonial scramble for natural resources in the South to be used for the prosperity and consumption of the... read more

“Hwange: Zimbabwe’s Land Of Fire”

There is a region in southern Italy, sadly famous among the media as the “land of fire” because of the high presence there of industrial toxic wastes and for the devastating impact of the environmental degradation on its inhabitants. Over 13 800km away is Hwange, which I can affirm with dismay to be its counterpart.

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