Gender equality and empowering women:
The Integrated Sound Management of Mercury in Indonesia’s Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining (GOLD-ISMIA) is a UNDP-GEF (United Nation Development Programme – Global Environment Facility) project aiming to reduce/eliminate mercury releases from the Indonesian Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining (ASGM) sector by i) Strengthening institutions and the policy/regulatory framework for mercury-free ASGM; ii) Increasing the access of mining communities to finance to enable the procurement of mercury-free processing technologies; iii) Increasing the capacity of mining communities for mercury-free ASGM through the provision of technical assistance, technology transfer and support for formalization; and, (iv) raising awareness and disseminating best practices and lessons-learned on mercury phase-out in the ASGM sector.
ASGM also has important gender impacts. Both women and men including young people are working in ASGM, however women rarely see the positive impacts of the sector on their communities. Gender inequalities occurred by negative impacts of ASGM with regard to poor democratic participation, financial inclusion, economic empowerment and health. Double work burden, gender-based violence (GBV) and prostitution are common in ASGM communities. Nevertheless, ASGM also providing thousands of women with opportunities to contribute to the economies and development of their local communities.
The concept of gender mainstreaming has been accepted and implemented in development projects and programs by many governments, non-governmental organizations and international organizations. However, in a mining related field, gender and gender mainstreaming can be challenging to grasp, partially because gender norms and prejudices have long established the idea of mining area as a male-dominated field.
In mining sector, gender perspective now has incorporated through the Minamata Convention on Mercury preamble notes awareness of, "health concerns, especially in developing countries, resulting from exposure to mercury of vulnerable populations, especially women, children, and through them future generations.6" Furthermore, National Action Plans to address artisanal and small-scale gold mining are to include, "Strategies to prevent the exposure of vulnerable populations, particularly children and women of childbearing age, especially pregnant women, to mercury used in artisanal and small-scale gold mining”.
Implementing the gender approach and gender mainstreaming in ASGM programme focusing on challenging social norms in a complex geographical, social and cultural context of Indonesia requires robust knowledge and data as well as sound mechanisms to provide feedback on effectiveness of interventions. The vastly changed communication landscape offers unprecedented opportunities to transform attitudes and behavior in support of greater gender equality in ASGM area. Therefore, a mapping of the options for optimal use of social media and communication technologies for the advocacy for behavior change will be commissioned and used to inform the programme interventions.
The main elements of the gender action plan, as related to the project’s 4 components, are summarized below:
Component 1: Strengthening institutions and the policy/ regulatory framework for mercury-free ASGM
• Outcome 1.1: The trainings and workshops provided to the 23 institutions as part of their capacity building efforts, will include gender sensitization training.
• Outcome 1.2: The existing ASGM policy and regulatory frameworks will also be assessed in light of gender dimensions; Policies, regulations and standards will be revised and/or developed while mainstreaming gender dimensions; Gender dimensions will be mainstreamed in the participatory local government regulations on ASGM and mercury use that will be developed with project support; and finally, technical guidance on mercury-free methods of gold extraction and tailing management will contain gender dimensions.
Component 2: Establishing financing lending arrangements to provide loans for mercury free processing equipment
• Outcome 2.1: Existing financial products of project partners will be assessed in terms of accesibility and suitability for women mining groups; Staff of the financial entities will be trained in the (re)design of these financial products so they suit women and men mining groups’ needs; New financial products will be launched that meet the need of women mining groups, while the awareness of women miners will be increased on the availability of various incentives and loan facilities that meet their needs (through awareness raising events).
• Outcome 2.2: At least 2 women mining groups, and mining groups containing women, will be trained in developing loan/investment applications (including undertaking technical and financial feasibility studies and record keeping and reporting).
Component 3: Increasing capacity for mercury-free ASGM through provision of technical assistance and technology transfer
• Outcome 3.1: The socioeconomic baseline surveys and mercury/gold mass balance inventories conducted for each of the six (6) priority project sites, will also collect sex-disaggregated data; Of the mining groups selected for project participation at least 20% will contain women miners or be women mining groups that will be supported in formalization efforts and in improving ASGM practices; The comprehensive ASGM training curriculum that will be developed with project support and will be used to train miners (men and women), will contain gender aspects and contain a module on gender in ASGM to encourage a culture change in how women are being viewed in the mining sector; Women mining groups and women miners will also receive separate leadership training.
• Outcome 3.2: Of the project mining groups supported in their formalization efforts (e.g. gaining access to legal subsurface rights, obtaining a permit to establish/operate a processing plant; designing processing and waste management plan) at least 20% will contain women miners or be women mining groups; The project will also support women groups interested in mining in the establishment of ASGM associations/cooperatives.
Component 4: Monitoring and evaluation, awareness raising, capturing and disseminating experiences, lessons-learned and best practices
• Outcome 4.1: The awareness raising plan that will be developed and implemented as part of the project will contain important elements related to gender. The project’s gender expert will ensure that the developed awareness raising plan and its activities meet the needs of female and male miners.
• Outcome 4.2: The project will conduct a Gender Assessment of project impact as part of the Mid-Term Review. Based on the results of the Gender Assessment and other recommendations coming out of the MTR, the project might further improve its gender related interventions.
• Outcome 4.3: On a quarterly basis, project results and information on project progress will be communicated to the GEF GOLD global component. The project’s gender expert will support the project in identifying gender specific results and how to present these in reports and publications that summarize results, lessons-learned, best practices and experiences.