There is significant global evidence that women are under-represented in extractives contract negotiations despite the fact that they frequently bear much of the social, economic and environmental risk associated with extraction. Benefits from extractives sector development, such as royalties, are often captured solely by men. An unprecedented example of good practice in this respect, however, is the Ok Tedi Mine, an open-pit copper and gold mine in Papua New Guinea. Women had a seat in the 2007 Community Mine Continuation Agreements (CMCAs) and negotiated 10 percent of all compensation, 50 percent of all scholarships, cash payments into family bank accounts (to which many women are co-signatories), and mandated seats on the governing bodies implementing the agreement (including future reviews of the agreement). Women’s entitlements became legally enforceable rights in agreements signed by the state and the developer.
To enable active engagement of women, policies in the extractives industry would need to allow access by women to sector specific training, education and jobs. By involving women in government-company negotiations, greater sustainable development outcomes could be achieved as women tend to pursue cross-cutting benefits from extractives sector investments such as in health, education, environment and nutrition.