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Civil society calls for inclusion of gender provisions in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Standard

The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) board will meet from 26 February 2019 to 28 February 2019 in Kyiv, Ukraine. On the agenda is a review of the EITI Standard, which outlines the requirements applicable to countries implementing the EITI. Civil society board members have proposed including new gender requirements, in the hopes of improving the experiences of women in the extractives sector. In this story, discover civil society's calls for gender disclosure in the EITI Standard, and Publish What You Pay's findings from a pilot project looking at gender and transparency in the extractives sector in West Africa.

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19 February 2019

EITI civil society board members present proposal to make gender disclosure part of the EITI Standard requirements

Author: Rebecca Iwerks, Natural Resource Governance Institute

"An Opportunity to Walk the Talk: Making Gender Disclosure Part of the EITI Standard", 11 February 2019

...In just under a month, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative board will meet to discuss revisions to their governing standard, including gender provisions...EITI...was originally created as a gender-neutral platform...Before it started to explicitly address issues of gender, EITI developed an unintended bias toward having more men participate and be able to access its information. Over the past several years, the EITI board and its supporters have said that they want to make sure the initiative can be more gender-responsive...The proposal championed by civil society members of the board will enhance the EITI Standard and require:

  • Multi-stakeholder groups to consider gender when creating their membership
  • Disclosure of employment statistics disaggregated by gender
  • Commentary of whether a country conducts gender-responsive budgeting
  • Consideration of how different genders access information when creating a data dissemination strategy

These changes are not only necessary. They are relatively easy to implement...Many countries and companies already disaggregate labor information by gender. For the last two years, Tullow OilBPShell and many private sector entities based in the U.K. published a report analyzing the pay gap between men and women working for their company. Having the information about gender breakdown in the work force is the first step for countries and companies to address the gender gap...Making these changes a requirement for all EITI implementing countries is an opportunity for the EITI to grow from talking about gender to creating policy change that meets minimum gender norms...

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19 February 2019

NGO calls for change in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Standard to reflect the experiences of women

Author: Elisa Peter, Publish What You Pay

"Women and the extractive industries - time for the EITI to act", 15 February 2019.

The EITI standard is an immensely powerful tool. We can make it even more powerful – and inclusive – by making it reflect the experiences of women...Members of the PWYP movement all strive for the interests of communities who are left out of vital decisions by oil, gas and mining industries...The EITI was created to establish a global standard of transparency that would allow civil society – and coalitions like ours – to make these industries more accountable to those very communities. But women are far less likely to have a voice at the EITI, while bearing an outsized share of the negative impacts from resource extraction...In 2018, PWYP initiated a pilot project in West Africa looking at gender and the EITI. Almost none of the EITI reports reviewed contained any references to gender, with only a few examples of gender disaggregation of data, but with no further analysis of its meaning...

So, what can the EITI do?...The first order of business is to ensure the data and reports produced reflect the reality of the extractives sector on the ground, in particular on employment based on gender and the gender responsiveness of budgets. Another related and immediate priority relates to the country-level ‘multi-stakeholder groups’ (MSG) prescribed by the EITI process in any country...At present, the majority of national MSGs have fewer than 25% women participation. Several have no women at all. As a fundamental first step, each stakeholder group should consider gender balance in their representation...Rio Tinto, for example, published a gender equity guide informing its work with communities. Companies that are publicly-listed in the UK – including BP, Shell and Tullow Oil – have all published pay gap analyses for the past two years...If the EITI keeps women invisible – despite the growing clamour from civil society voices around the world – it will be disavowing its own vision and standards.

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19 February 2019

Publish What You Pay reports on pilot project looking at gender and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative in West Africa

Author: Charlotte Ørnemark, Publish What You Pay

"Gendered change to transparency in extactives starts in West Africa", 15 February 2019.

...How do you change a system that is largely ‘gender blind’?...For many (if not most) civil society groups seeking to influence the transparent governance of extractive industries in their countries, this is a reality. And it led to PWYP [Publish What You Pay] picking up the challenge to undertake some research, led by three PWYP coalitions in West Africa (Burkina FasoGuinea and Senegal), with others joining (GhanaNigeria and Togo) to do a gender scan of their own coalitions and membership...

Recently the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) has been more vocal on gender issues. However, it is up to EITI implementing countries to put a more transformative gender approach into practice...A gender break-down of participation in governance and decision-making structures within the EITI universe is not easily available; neither is it always clear what percentage of participants were women or representing local women’s groups when validations of EITI reports took place locally. Multi-stakeholder groups (MSGs) – with representatives from government, companies and civil society mandated to oversee the national EITI implementation – had a representation of women which varied from 7% to 20%. Some MSGs elsewhere have no women participating at all according to research by the Institute for Multi-stakeholder Initiative Integrity (2015). Another form of making women invisible is not gender disaggregating data in the reporting. When it exceptionally happens, reported gender disparities are revealing. For instance, in Burkina Faso the 2016 EITI report showed that women held less than 3% of all jobs created by mining companies...

Several of the coalition research reports found glaring gaps between the relatively good national policy framework for advancing gender equality (e.g. via national gender plans and strategies), and the complete absence of any references to gender in the frameworks regulating extractive industries...

In conclusion, isolated gender projects like this one clearly cannot do the job of gender mainstreaming the broader EITI process on its own. Nevertheless, this research – as part of a longer PWYP gender project funded by the Hewlett Foundation – can maybe be a first trigger. In addition to taking stock and providing a baseline, it illustrates how women are not just potential victims or passive beneficiaries of extractive resources or economic opportunities in the sector; they are also forceful change makers...

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