In 2013, WoMin made a clear choice to focus on minerals, oil and gas in the extractives terrain, but this still left an extremely wide and unmanageable terrain for work. Then in early 2014 WoMin decided to focus a significant part of its work on minerals and natural resources linked to energy production. Our primary focus is on the extraction, processing/ refining and combustion of conventional fossil fuels, with a secondary, but deeply significant focus, on the new renewable energies.
Following a highly successful January 2015 Southern African women and coal exchange titled Women Stand their Ground against Big Coal and a one-week strategy meeting African Women Uniting for Energy, Food and Climate Justice in the Niger Delta, Nigeria, in October 2015 WoMin has resolved its major strategy addressing the question of fossil fuels energy and climate justice - a long-term women-led women’s rights grassroots-driven African campaign.
Women-led women’s rights African campaign on fossil fuels, energy and climate justice concept note English
Women-led women’s rights African campaign on fossil fuels, energy and climate justice concept note French
In support of and linked to the campaign, WoMin has also been undertaking the following work
Ecofeminist analysis of energy in Africa an exploratory paper– In September 2015, WoMin commissioned an exploratory ecofeminist analysis of energy in Africa to inform the development of the fossil fuels energy and climate justice campaign. This exploratory paper will be the first in a series and will suggest the themes and issues to be explored more deeply through subsequent papers. It will also start to frame a research agenda in each country leading the campaign. The paper will be published as one of a series on women and energy in Africa. The paper will be launched at the July 2016 regional campaigns strategy meeting. See Research Terms of Reference.
Organising, campaigning, knowledge-building at COP 21 - WoMin sent a delegation of twelve women activists to Paris in December 2015 to lead and participate in civil society organising and campaigning for climate justice. WoMin’s intention was not to participate in the internal process but to rather use this as a key opportunity to learn, build awareness, be challenged, and create new connections all oriented to supporting the development of the fossil fuels, energy and climate justice campaign. The main countries supported to participate in COP 21 organising were the same that will lead the WoMin regional campaign Uganda, South Africa, the DRC and Nigeria. WoMin joined hands with many partners – the Rural Women’s Assembly, People’s Dialogue, Franciscans International, Ibon International, the World March of Women, CIDSE, CCFD and many others to convene five platforms at the COP and we were invited to join the spaces of many others to input and contribute CCFD, EDGE foundations, the Land and Water Convergence, the Campaign against Corporate Impunity convergence space, CIDSE, the Gaia Foundation, Friends of the Earth International and others. See http://womin.org.za/womin-at-cop-21.html for our ecofeminist analysis in advance of COP 21. For our COP 21 reflections in French and English.
Women and Coal Fact Sheets - WoMin is partnering with the International Coal Network (ICN) to produce two fact sheets on women and coal. The key themes covered are the political economy of coal in Africa; the crisis of energy in Africa; corporate externalisation of the costs of coal; impacts of coal on health, environment and livelihoods; renewable energy and alternatives to coal; and women’ leadership in battles against big coal. Further empirical research is currently being carried out to address gaps identified in the drafting process, specifically examples of African women’s resistance, and the alternatives we are striving for/ building in practice. The fact sheets will be launched in mid-2016.
WoMin ‘Building Energy Resilience’ Resource – in the second half of 2015, WoMin commissioned the development of a WoMin ‘Building Energy Resilience’ Resource – a collection of six simple, easy to read and powerfully illustrated brief pamphlets targeting peasant and working class women and their support organisations which can be used to (a) inform users about energy, its sources, some of the risks and alternatives; and (b) illustrate some of the simple practical solutions, drawing on renewable resources, to address energy poverty at the micro-level as part of a long-term mobilisation towards wider structural transformation in the energy system. The six pamphlets are as follows
The basics of energy – what it is, the different forms of energy (potentials and risks), the problems of the current energy system and what we are striving for as part of a wider transition
Why energy is a women’s rights question and what we as women are collectively struggling for
Four simple solar energy solutions which can be implemented at the local level as we struggle for the bigger structural solutions (a) water heating (b) cooking (c) cooling and (d) water distillation.
The collection will be designed for open access download from online sources, for easy translation into other languages and for printing in either black and white or colour. WoMin will launch the collection during 2016 linked to campaign development activities at the national and regional levels.
Participatory research, with consent focus, with women affected by Coal in Fuleni/Somkhele, KwaZulu-Natal- This has been a highly strategic collaboration building on solidarity work we started with women in Fuleni/Somkhele in October 2014. At this time, we supported women in Fuleni come together for the first time to discuss their political position in respect of a proposed coal mine, and exchange with the women of Somkhele, who have been deeply impacted by a coal mine established more than a decade back. Women from Somkhele and Fuleni joined the WoMin sub-regional coal exchange in January 2015. In July 2015, we started exploring Fuleni/Somkhele as the site for WoMin’s women and coal participatory action research and started up the research with a first field visit in September 2015. The research, which women in both communities have helped shape, has been designed to (a) uncover and offer women a platform to tell their stories of struggle against the coal mine/s (b) to ‘out’ the failures of the state and local traditional authorities which have been deeply compromised by their relationship to the corporates and (c) for women to explore and advance their ideas for a local development alternative. The second phase of research starts in April 2016 and this phase of the participatory research will conclude in June/July 2016. Women’s organising and actions will continue to be supported through the research and in the longer-term through the fossil fuels, energy and climate justice campaign.