The mining industry has been operating in many sub-Saharan countries for decades, but women have struggled to avail themselves of the benefits and opportunities of large-scale mining operations and often disproportionately suffer from the negative impacts of the industry. Women’s economic empowerment is essential to ensuring that the benefits of the mining and minerals sector are shared widely by society, and a growing number of major mining companies now recognize the urgent need to invest in women. For the mining industry to become a vehicle of inclusive economic growth, gender considerations and women’s economic empowerment must be integrated into every phase of mining projects.
This brief provides an overview of the mining industry’s role in sub-Saharan Africa and shares key findings on the impact of the industry on women in the region, as well as key challenges women face in economic advancement as direct employees, participants in the value chain, and community members. It also provides specific recommendations for mining companies to advance women’s economic empowerment. This brief was developed alongside the BSR report “Women’s Economic Empowerment in Sub-Saharan Africa: Recommendations for Business Action,” which seeks to mobilize greater private-sector action to enhance women’s economic empowerment in the region.