Challenges To Women’s Access To Natural Resources


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Presentation i did at a National Women and Land Conference organised by ActionAid Zimbabwe and the Women\'s Coalition. Looks the legal, policy and institutional challenges limiting women\'s access to natural resources including lan, mineral resources, water, forestry and forestry products

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Challenges To Women’s Access To Natural Resources

  1. 1. Challenges to women’s access to natural resources Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association [email_address]
  2. 2. Presentation <ul><li>Brief on why natural resources? Some of the key natural resources>> </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges to accessing natural resources-the root causes </li></ul><ul><li>Examples of the challenges-sector specific i.e. Forestry and mining </li></ul><ul><li>Models for improving women’s access </li></ul>Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association [email_address]
  3. 3. However <ul><li>The presentation is not a comprehensive look at the challenges in securing women’s access to natural resources </li></ul><ul><li>It only aims to stimulate thought and debate </li></ul>Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association [email_address]
  4. 4. Why access to natural resources is important? <ul><li>This is redundant but needs to be mentioned again </li></ul><ul><li>Natural resources are intricately linked to livelihoods particularly in the rural areas where most of the Zimbabwean population still resides </li></ul><ul><li>Transformative change debate can only be complete when there is an analysis on the issue of natural resources access and benefit sharing as it relates to gender </li></ul><ul><li>Natural resources are the basis of power. </li></ul>Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association [email_address]
  5. 5. Why access is important? <ul><li>Vulnerability is increased when there is limited/no access-it is difficult to obtain food, accumulate assets and or recuperate from natural or market shocks-Muzarabani floods </li></ul>Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association [email_address]
  6. 6. What natural resources are we talking about? <ul><li>There is an inordinate focus on land. </li></ul><ul><li>Other resources include water, minerals, wildlife and forestry </li></ul><ul><li>These are all resources that have the potential for transformative change with regards to women’s position in society issues pertaining to access and benefit sharing is addressed. </li></ul>Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association [email_address]
  7. 7. Theoretical basis <ul><li>Women in Development Approach </li></ul><ul><li>Gender and Development Approach </li></ul><ul><li>Question that remains is-has scholarly recognition of the need to examine power relations led to development agencies and government engaging in legislative and policy reform?? </li></ul>Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association [email_address]
  8. 8. Changes to women’s position has come: slowly Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association [email_address]
  9. 9. So what are the challenges? <ul><li>Challenges can be condensed into 3 : </li></ul><ul><li>Law-Constitution </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional Set-up </li></ul><ul><li>Policy </li></ul>Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association [email_address]
  10. 10. Forestry <ul><li>Forestry Act and the Communal Lands Forest Produce Act </li></ul><ul><li>communal dwellers can only access forest produce for subsistence purposes only. For commercial purposes there is need for a licence from the relevant ministry or local authority </li></ul><ul><li>National Environmental Policy & Forest Based Land Reform Policy </li></ul><ul><li>NEP has a specific section on forestry resources-this section lays out provisions for local communities including women to benefit form forest products </li></ul>Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association [email_address]
  11. 11. Forestry <ul><li>FBLRP seeks to make provisions for local communities including women to own plantations or own shares in plantation owning companies </li></ul><ul><li>>>the shortfalls of both policy documents- they have no legal force. They are not backed by Law and therefore not enforceable. </li></ul><ul><li>What about the Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Act? </li></ul>Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association [email_address]
  12. 12. Mining <ul><li>Mines and Minerals Act of 1961 and its various amendments-principle legal instrument on mining in Zimbabwe </li></ul><ul><li>Sect 2 of the Act-Mining rights vested in the State and administered by Ministry of Mines through permits( individuals, coys. & partnerships) >>could generously be interpreted to provide for the participation of women although partnerships are ltd to 6 people </li></ul>Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association [email_address]
  13. 13. Mining Institutional Set-Up <ul><li>Act establishes the Mining Affairs Board-composition=Sec. Of Mines, Undersecretary, Director of Metallurgy, Director of Geological Survey, 2mbrs appointed by the Minister form the Chamber of Mines, one member from CFU, ICAZ and 2 members appointed by the Minister-Women are clearly missing from this Matrix </li></ul>Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association [email_address]
  14. 14. Water and other natural resources <ul><li>The same analysis can be applied to other natural resources- there are clearly no comprehensive provisions for community participation in natural resources management-access+benefit </li></ul><ul><li>Water Act and regulations do not even make reference to gender. at all. Issue productive and primary water usage-women need to negotiate for water through asymmetrical power relations </li></ul><ul><li>Issue of financing within the context of the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act??? In the Context of tendering?? Is the Market Gender Neutral </li></ul>Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association [email_address]
  15. 15. Other barriers to access <ul><li>Finance (although this can be located within policy it is still important to look at singularly) </li></ul><ul><li>There is a misnomer that the ‘Market is Gender Neutral’-it is not-women have little cash income, little social and political capital and no property </li></ul>Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association [email_address]
  16. 16. Other barriers <ul><li>Making people gender aware is not enough-tendency to ‘add gender and mix’ </li></ul><ul><li>Will talk of inherent hegemonic tendencies by state structures-local authorities </li></ul>Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association [email_address]
  17. 17. So what happens? Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association [email_address]
  18. 18. So what happens? <ul><li>In cases of forestry-communities cut down trees and commercialise forest produce without authority </li></ul><ul><li>In the cases of mining-people become artisanal/illegal miners </li></ul><ul><li>Water-people do not obtain water permits for secondary uses </li></ul><ul><li>Wildlife-people poach </li></ul><ul><li>In essence-there is conflict. Though it is important to note that even in some of the cases where communities find ways of accessing natural resources-women still find it difficult to access the same. </li></ul>Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association [email_address]
  19. 19. Is there a model for enhancing women’s access to natural resources? <ul><li>CBNRM-Community Based Natural Resources Management </li></ul><ul><li>CAMPFIRE-communities benefit from natural resources management-proceeds from trophy hunting, culling and tourism </li></ul><ul><li>Shortcomings of CAMPFIRE-communities organised as community based organisations/trusts-legal capacity- </li></ul><ul><li>However, if there is an absence of women’s participation in the formation of these trusts-benefits accruing to women may diminish </li></ul>Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association [email_address]
  20. 20. Shortcomings of CBNRM model/CAMPFIRE model <ul><li>RDC’s benefit more-this particularly became the case when government cut subsidies to RDCs </li></ul><ul><li>However, these challenges do not relate to the model itself and in any case should be viewed as an incremental academic and practical learning curve </li></ul>Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association [email_address]
  21. 21. <ul><li>ZELA now trying to replicate CBNRM/ CAMPFIRE/CBO model of development </li></ul><ul><li>Mutoko-Mbire-Chiadzwa </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges persist </li></ul>Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association [email_address]
  22. 22. Quick Fix? <ul><li>No </li></ul><ul><li>Need to look at Policy (which to a large extent has been done although there are shortcomings in terms of addressing gender) </li></ul><ul><li>Need to look at Law-gives legal force to policies-Constitutional guarantee for the benefit of the marginalised-right for communities (women) to benefit from natural resources </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional set up-Women in key institutions, issues of community trusts-Constitutional Thematic Committee on Land, Natural Resources and Empowerment </li></ul><ul><li>Financing++ </li></ul><ul><li>Mobilising women-Organising women to engage?? </li></ul>Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association [email_address]
  23. 23. Thank You! Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association [email_address]