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Not victims, but fighters: A global overview on women’s leadership in anti-mining struggles

Authors: Francisco Venes (University of Coimbra), Stefania Barca (University of Santiago de Compostela), Grettel Navas (University of Chile).

Available now in the Journal of Political Ecology.


While it is known that women have a strong presence in struggles for Environmental Justice, there is a lack of knowledge about their role in them, particularly in struggles opposing mining projects. We aim to fill this gap by undertaking the first global systematization of the available data on women’s anti-mining activism, using a multi-case perspective. We analyze 151 mining conflicts identified through the Environmental Justice Atlas, examining the impacts mining activities have had on women, how women responded to these, how they organized to oppose mining projects, and what challenges they faced in their activism. While our analysis reinforces many aspects discussed by Feminist Political Ecology scholars on the challenges women face in their activism, it also raises new questions about the specific impacts mining has on women, the repertoire of actions they have at their disposal as part of their activism, and how they organize to oppose mining projects, patriarchal dynamics within movements, and to question prevailing narratives of progress.

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