Oil, gas, and mining can—potentially—transform life in resource-rich developing countries. They can help drive economic growth. They can create jobs. They can reduce poverty.
For women in particular, extractive industries can provide opportunities for a better life, including increased employment opportunities, access to revenues, and expanded investment in the local community. Women-led businesses can flourish in the extractives supply chain. Working with and investing in women also makes good business sense - for example, many companies are recruiting women to drive trucks and operate machinery, as they have often found women employees to have an impressive safety record and reduced maintenance of equipment.
Too often, however, these opportunities don’t materialize and extractive industries deliver as much, or more damage than benefit. Achieving the development gains that extractive industries promise in particular for women depends on understanding and managing such risks.
Mining, oil drilling and gas extraction all have environmental, social and economic impacts that change women’s lives, often in ways that are dramatically different from their effects on men. Ensuring that men and women have equitable access to the benefits of resource development, and that neither are disproportionately placed at risk, requires commitment to understanding and acting on the gender dimensions of the sector. This means including women in community-level project consultations, and national-level policy dialogues on extractive industries.
Women must have equitable access to jobs, education, and participation. They must be included in making the decisions that affect their lives. Gender-sensitive consultation is essential to ensure that analysis, training and policies in the extractive industries not only meet the needs of women, but enhance their well-being. The World Bank Group helps countries and companies develop their extractive industries so that they become engines of growth and poverty reduction. It promotes good governance, along with equitable and inclusive sharing of benefits. It works with stakeholders to reduce potential environmental, social, and economic risks. The Gender and Extractive Industries Program, managed by the Bank’s Oil, Gas and Mining unit, raises awareness of the gender dimensions of the extractive industries, to ensure that all Bank-supported projects consider the needs and contributions of both men and women.