The planetGOLD Mongolia project launched a pilot of Artisanal Miners Gender Committee and held a workshop on September 15, 2022, in Mandal Soum, Selenge Province. The workshop included distinguished guests from the local authorities who provided valuable insight on policy for miners. A group of 21 artisanal miners (14 men and seven women) participated in the workshop.
The Gender Committee (GC) of Artisanal Miners was established to provide an informal voluntary networking platform for open dialogue on issues related to gender equality and human rights among female and male artisanal miners. The importance of a provincial level Artisanal Miners Gender Committee is its contribution at making artisanal mining a socially responsible and gender equitable workplace. The pilot Gender Committee will be incorporated under the Selenge provincial ASM association at the inter-soum level, with policy and leadership support from the ASM NF.
The one-day workshop focused on sharing knowledge on the artisanal mining legal framework and introducing gender-equitable practices as part of responsible ASGM. In addition, an introduction of the planetGOLD Mongolia project was presented to the artisanal miners with the purpose of enhancing their knowledge and raising awareness. The workshop strengthened collaboration and community-building skills of the artisanal miners.
Throughout the workshop, the committee’s long-term sustainability and the importance of members acting as strategic drivers were strongly emphasized. Participants outlined their collective vision and activities for the rest of the year and reached consensus at the end of the workshop. The prospective plans developed from the ASM GC will be reflected in the planetGOLD Mongolia 2023 project workplan.
The workshop stressed capacity-building of the artisanal miners by enriching their understanding of leadership, organizational, communication, representation, lobbying, advocacy, and business skills. The importance of equal participation by men and women in the ASGM sector was highlighted.
Participants discussed a range of topics for the future ASM GC monthly meetings, including the impact of mercury use, introduction to gender and human rights issues, business management and access to finance, pressure and harassment in the workplace, gender stereotypes and discrimination, work-life balance, and a sub-program on gender equality, among others.
The planetGOLD Mongolia project is confident that continued activities under the GC pilot will facilitate gender equality in the ASM workplace. The GC will serve as a platform to enable broader dissemination of knowledge and share sector updates. As such, it will strengthen connections in the ASM community and increase well-being in the workplace. The planetGOLD Mongolia project will continue to advocate for gender equality in the Mongolian ASGM sector for the life of the project.
About the planetGOLD Mongolia project
The planetGOLD Mongolia project is working towards the formalization and professionalization of artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) sector in Mongolia, including the elimination of mercury use in gold processing. The team is working with various stakeholders along the gold supply chain – miners, gold traders, local and national governments as well as civil society – to sustainably improve artisanal mining operations as an important economic opportunity for remote communities and to support the revision of regulations governing the sector. In partnership with the national government, the project team is working to create an enabling environment for a formalized artisanal mining sector that enhances community development, improves productivity, and eliminates the use of mercury.
For more information about the planetGOLD Mongolia project implemented by the UN Environment Programme and UN Industrial Development Organization, please visit www.planetgold.org/Mongolia