• An 80 percent of the Certificate course participants belong to the Artisanal and Small-scale Mining – ASM sector.
  • 19 women are part of the Certificate Course and belong to the ASM sector, along with Community Councils, Corporations, Productive Initiatives, Associations, Local Collectors, and Public Entities.
  • The Course is Certified by Fundación Universitaria Claretiana – UNICLARETIANA

October 2021. The Certificate Course on ASM Due Diligence, Environmental Governance, Gender Equality, and Peacebuilding, started successfully in the Municipality of Quibdó. It is part of the “Raíces Doradas” project, led by Fundación Atabaque, C.I. Anexpo, Alliance for Responsible Mining, and funded by the European Partnership for Responsible Minerals – EPRM.

The course aims to: Strengthen due diligence in precious minerals supply chains, environmental governance and gender equality by training artisanal mining population and members of public, private, and social entities in the municipalities of Istmina, Condoto, and Quibdó, to have an incidence in decision making for the territory and peacebuilding.

The academic program will be held between September 10 and November 7 every two weeks. It has four modules: The first, on Gender Equality and Leadership; the second, on Safety and Self-protection; the third, on Environmental Governance and Peacebuilding; and the fourth will make an overview on Colombian mining: legislation, relevant knowledge, and Due Diligence. The cycle closes with a talk on practices and sharing experiences around the ASM.

This initiative intends to mitigate gaps in supply chain traceability, access to formal markets, and gender equality. Likewise, it creates an opportunity to offer a training program for Chocó territory that facilitates a gender-approach analysis on the everyday life of the population, from the skills and competencies developed by the participants.

“It is an excellent space because I see different women, women that I do know, and I am aware they have gone through difficult times, but they did not know those things which you are showing them: How they can stand for themselves, how they can fill and make a space with those men who are so chauvinistic. I think that is great.”

Rosa Elena Ruiz Echeverry, Women and Gender Equality Office Coordinator, Istmina.


There are 34 people participating in this space who are part of the Artisanal and Small scale Mining – ASM sector, women victims of violence and harassment, afro women, rural women, municipal representatives, traditional buyers, local collectors, major community council leaders, members of different social organizations, public and private entities, and a peace initiative coming from the Peace Agreement in Colombia, consisting of a resident who were conflict victims, and former combatants, who dedicate to artisanal jewelry making.

This educational proposal is developed in a context that constantly shows unequal opportunities in decision-making and territory leadership, poor access to socio-economic services and benefits, and strong gender violence. According to the publication “Mujeres y hombres: brechas de género en Colombia” – Women and men: Gender gaps in Colombia in November 2020, from the DANE (the National Entity of Statistics in Colombia), there is an estimation that women economic participation in the department of Chocó is barely 31,1%, the gap in relation with men is 26,8. Likewise, the unemployment rate for women is 19,8%, with a gap of 11,9 percentile points. These factors represent low incomes, high economic dependence, and, therefore, poor healthcare about their sexual and reproductive rights, which increase maternal death rate that reaches 130,7 women per every 100 thousand inhabitants. The goal is to reduce this rate to 32, which demands strengthening the healthcare system from a gender perspective.

Finally, in the report, the DANE states that 1.001 women were murdered in Colombia in 2019. 29,7% were between 20 and 29 years old. In the department of Chocó, the homicide rate per every 100 thousand women is 1.8%. Additionally, there were 253 non-lethal violence cases perpetrated by couples or ex-couples during the same year. Also, 213 legal medical examinations were performed on women of legal age and on 84,5 underage women for alleged sex crimes. The World Economic Forum – WEF, on the Global Gender Gap Report 2020, indicates that Colombia has a Gender Gap of 75.8%. With that ranking, the country is ranked 22. In Latin America, the gender gap is 72,1%, and, according to the WEF, the region would take about 59 years to reach gender equality.

Topics such as gender equality, due diligence, and risk and gap mitigation in the ASM, are priorities for the leaders of this initiative. This way, starting the Certificate course, there is an advance in the results within the framework of “Raíces Doradas” project, an initiative implemented since 2019 intending to facilitate the access of artisanal men and women miners into formal markets, ensuring the respect of Human Rights and encouraging women territory governance and political incidence for peacebuilding.

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