Photo acknowledgement: Lebogang
In 2014, WoMin supported nine participatory action research (PAR) projects regionally. The process was initiated with a two-day orientation workshop at the WoMin regional meeting and launch in October 2013. A Feminist Participatory Action Research (FPAR) manual was developed to support participating organisations and can be accessed from this link.
After the orientation, organisations were supported to draft a proposal, design their in-depth methodology, and facilitate the research. WoMin’s contributions were in the form of a start-up grant, averaging around USD10 000, which organisations complimented with staff time, organisational resources and additional funding. In addition, WoMin contracted a specialist in PAR and extractives who provided on-site support to all countries.
When WoMin’s research lead, Salimah Valiani, began in mid-April 2015 we were able to advance this area of work. Between April and June 2016, Salimah supported lead organisations in each country refine their draft reports and/or prepare contributions to a PAR synthesis workshop, which was held between 22 and 26 June 2015. WoMin members and allied organisations from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and South Africa gathered for a week-long political economy of mining, gender analysis and writing workshop. Participants shared the results of a WoMin-supported 2014/2015 PAR project undertaken in nine countries. This was complemented by other experiences on the issues of women in or affected by mining, fossil fuel extraction and beneficiation in Africa. Tools and histories to unpack the power relations underlying the various case studies were shared and discussed. In this workshop, participants began working on two-page summaries of their research and short articles for publication in their country contexts.
In the months since the workshop, we have been carefully studying the PAR reports and various key policy documents in the region, and a synthesis WoMin Analytical Paper – the Africa Mining Vision: A Long Overdue Eco-Feminist Critique - has been written. This synthesis paper, seven PAR reports and summaries thereof will be launched in four countries – Burkina Faso, Uganda, Nigeria and South Africa - in October and November 2015. The launch platforms will involve women who participated in the research, other civil society organisations, and policy/decision-makers. The launch events aim to convey the findings of the research and project women’s experiences into the public realm with a view to informing, challenging and inspiring attendees. We will also launch the WoMin PAR and analytical paper via email, on our social networking platforms, and with the support of our regional and international partners and allies.