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Peru: Building a responsible and inclusive artisanal mining

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With typical costumes and "marinera norteña" dance, the publication "Women and men of gold" was presented and the legal constitution of the first association of women mineral selectors in Piura was celebrated. The event took place at the Chirinos-Suyo soccer arena and was attended by representatives of the United Nations, the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations, the Regional Directorate of Energy and Mines of Piura, and the Municipality of Suyo.

The publication "Women and men of gold" shows the gender gaps in artisanal and small-scale mining in Peru and provides recommendations for an action plan development with a gender approach that promotes equal rights and opportunities in the sector.

The study carried out by the planetGOLD Peru project—executed by the Ministry of the Environment (MINAM), in alliance with the Ministry of Energy and Mines and the technical assistance of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), gathers information from nine regions of Peru where there are many women mineral selectors, in formalization process and formal artisanal and small-scale miners from Arequipa, Puno, Piura, Cusco, Madre de Dios, Ica, Ayacucho, Apurímac and Ancash.

Associativity and empowerment

The Cuchicorral-Chirinos-Suyo Women Mineral Selectors Association, made up of 34 women, was legally constituted as the first association of “pallaqueras” in the Piura region. The "pallaqueras" are those women who select manually gold ore that is discarded by artisanal and small-scale miners and is deposited as waste outside the mine entrance.

During the ceremony, Carla Zacapa, UNDP Deputy Representative in Peru, stated that the association is allowing women from Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM) to join efforts and share ideals to respond together to the challenges they face. “I congratulate the first Association of Women Mineral Selectors in Piura, who have taken an important step towards responsible small-scale mining and artisanal mining,” she said.

"The responsible mining practices promotion must include all the actors in the supply chain, both mining title holders and women mineral selectors," said Rocío Santivañez, Pollution Control and Chemical Substances Director at MINAM. She pointed out that the ministry has been executing various actions for the reduction and progressive elimination of the mercury use in Peru.

Additionally, Duberli López, Regional Director of Energy and Mines of Piura, pointed out that "we live in a country where violence against women is an everyday issue, so this legal conformation is a step forward that empowers women and strengthens ASM”.

The event, organized by MINAM and UNDP through the planetGOLD Peru project, was also attended by Ingrid Ramírez, Aurora Program Specialist of the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations, and José Edar Troncos, Mayor of the District Municipality of Suyo . As well as representatives of Solidaridad, Prevent and Megam projects, National Network of Women in ASGM, the Association of Women Mineral Selectors of Cuchicorral-Chirinos-Suyo, and San Sebastián de Suyo Mining Society.

In presence of the authorities and various institutions, the Cuchicorral-Chirinos-Suyo Mineral Selectors Association signed to join the National Network of Women in ASM. Though this network its members seek to make visible the women ASM work and achieve national recognition of the pallaqueras.

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