Is transparency biased against women?

August 15, 2016 Posted by


If extractive industries have a questionable record on delivering development outcomes, their track record on improving the lives of women in developing countries is even worse. Women tend to bear the brunt of the impacts of resource extraction.

For this reason, Oxfam has made gender justice a focus of our global extractive industries program.    Defending women’s rights is critical for ensuring the risks of extractive industries are mitigated and that their potential benefits are shared by all. To this end, Oxfam commissioned researchers at Middlesex University to review the literature on “social accountability”, gender and extractive industries. Social accountability has become a common approach for empowering citizens in ways that address corruption and improve service delivery.  Social accountability works by exposing citizens to the functions of the state (for example, including them in budget processes or providing them with information on service delivery) so that they can observe any irregularities and demand greater accountability from their governments.

The focus of the work was to understand whether there might be particular barriers to women’s inclusion in social accountability efforts. In particular we were interested to know whether there might be gender barriers to engaging women in accountability work that aims to leverage new transparency disclosures in the extractive industries.

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