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Accountable to whom?

Promoting women's rights through extractive industries revenue accountability

Oxfam believes that extractive revenues—if communities have been duly consulted about extractive projects—should be used to fund important social programs that can lift people out of poverty and improve the economic development of countries. Social accountability initiatives can be a critical tool for galvanizing reform efforts aimed at ensuring that revenues from extractive industries (EI) respond to communities’ needs. Yet despite the potential for EI revenues to strengthen women’s rights and promote gender equality through investment in targeted programs and services, social accountability has been largely silent on women and women’s rights.

This research addresses this gap through a literature review, as well as analyses from the Dominican Republic and Zambia. Both countries add contextual data and new information to our understanding of how women’s rights are integrated—or not—in social accountability initiatives related to EI revenue transparency. This report examines the interplay of women’s rights, social accountability, and the EI sector and explores whether and how social accountability initiatives on EI revenue transparency incorporate women’s rights. This research fills a significant need by explicitly bringing a gender lens to bear on social accountability work within the EI sector and analyzing the connection with women’s rights.

This research found fairly thin accounts of social accountability initiatives on EI revenue transparency in both countries. Nonetheless, though work on this issue is nascent in both countries, the research reveals opportunities for advocacy on women’s rights in EI revenue transparency. The research also identifies a women’s rights approach that discusses the barriers preventing women and women’s rights organizations from participating in social accountability on EI revenue transparency, and it provides recommendations to overcome them.

Please watch our short video highlighting this research on EI social accountability initiatives and how they can fall short when it comes to women and women’s rights.

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