On December 12 and 13 in Bogota, Colombia, the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) held an event that focused on the outlook of women miners on environmentally – oriented management, peacebuilding, and their situation within the artisanal and small-scale mining sector (ASM), in collaboration with UN Women and UN Environment. The event was divided into four phases in which different gender-related subjects related to Colombian ASM were discussed.
The first phase focused on introducing the study on gender gap in mining and holding a panel discussion in which miners, academics, members of the civil society, the government and law specialists discussed the main obstacles in gender equality in ASM in relation to the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
During the second phase, 11 miner representatives from 6 Colombian departments (Cauca, Boyacá, Antioquia, Nariño, Chocó and Bolívar) who were invited by the ARM shared their experiences on the sector and reflected on the role of women in ASM. Through activities designed by a coach, the women miners explained their day-to-day, their main challenges and obstacles as miners, and their potential to accomplish a greater equality in their departments’ mining sectors.
In the third phase, which focused on environmental-oriented management and peacebuilding, 11 women reflected on their leadership role toward a better environmentally-oriented management in mining regions and the fostering of a lasting peace. They discussed how the various environmental challenges impact their communities and how they can take a leadership role with sights on managing them.
During the fourth and last phase, 11 women miners reflected on the problems and shared potentials of women miners in various departments, attaining a shared view on the role of women miners in ASM. During this phase, the women touched on the feasibility of setting up networks for collaboration and the sharing of experiences of women miners from different departments, and discussed their individual experiences.
Lastly, the miners contacted each other and explained the need to connect their individual situations with the purpose of building a shared voice that can help accomplish a more egalitarian ASM, with them as promoters and leaders in this process.