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Gender Safeguards in the fight against conflict diamonds

Panel Discussion on Women`s Participation in the Gemstone Industry

24.07.2019 |

Conflict diamonds, according to the Kimberly Process (KP), are rough diamonds used to finance wars against governments. The KP is a global voluntary initiative between governments, civil society and industry seeking to stop the trade in conflict diamonds. The subject of gender continues to be absent from the Kimberley Process.

The KP has entered a two-year review of its operations, evaluating both key processes and documentation. The process offers an window of opportunity for greater incorporation of gender considerations in KP policy and process. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is highly committed to advancing gender equality. As part of the Extractives and Development sectoral programme, consultancy and social venture Levin Sources was commissioned to develop a policy briefing to provide direction for a greater incorporation of gender into the KP reform process: The Gender Safeguards for the Kimberley Process. The study contains practical recommendations for policy and process reforms, analysing the KP at a global policy level, as well as looking at its implementation in Côte d`Ivoire and Sierra Leone.

The Gender Safeguards were officially presented by Chloe Jacot (Levin Sources) on behalf of BMZ / GIZ at the East and Southern African Coloured Gemstone Forum from 10.-12. July 2019 in Nairobi. Representatives of governments, industry, civil society, and academics from a wide range of countries in southern and eastern Africa (including member countries of the KP) met at the forum to share best practices and innovative solutions for advancing the coloured gemstones sector.

Gender was a key theme of the forum, exploring women's participation in the gemstone industry. During this session, the Extractives and Development sectoral programme had the opportunity to present the results of gender safeguards. The presentation was received with great interest. The emerging discussion between participants featured discussions on the role of men as allies for women and raising the men's awareness of gender equality. Participants were also interested to learn that women are typically granted fewer mining licenses than men.

Some of the key recommendations for action shared are highlighted below. For more information, see the policy dimension reports:

  • Commitment to Gender equality within KP documents
  • Amend the definition of conflict diamond in a gender-sensitive way (include systematic gender-based violence around the mine site as well as gender-sensitive language)
  • Increase the socio-economic status of women through participation in other sectors
  • Collect gender-disaggregated data during KP review visits
  • Form women`s mining associations

For further information, please contact Lisa Stellner.

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