The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) looks to address the gender gap in the mining sector amid the different challenges faced by women in the sector through the review of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.
DENR secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga said that the department will be revisiting the Philippine Mining Act in tandem with the Magna Carta for Women.
Citing a study from the Philippine-Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), the DENR chief said that women are a minority of the workforce, with only a number occupying technical and leadership positions in mining companies.
Environmental problems linked to mining operations like pollution of rivers and drying of water sources puts pressure on women as household managers and providers. The study also the lack of sustainable livelihood outside the employment of mining companies.
An absence of guidelines on inclusion of gender-responsive projects in the Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) and minimum participation of women in the development of these programs, the study noted.
Furthermore, the study said that there are gaps in the context and implementation of policies and frameworks to address gender dimensions in the mining industry.
Loyzaga is hopeful that there will be a “more in-depth and more comprehensive look at gender and mining. There is a need to ensure women’s representation in the mining industry is meaningful in all levels of decision making.”
The DENR Chief urged the mining industry to work together to ensure that the sector becomes an enabling and empowering environment for women.
Loyzaga hopes that the move would “include rescaling, upscaling, and strengthening education to motivate women to pursue careers that are very important and related to this industry.”