The Question of Gender and Human Security in Africa’s Extractive Industries
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The growing presence of extractive companies in rural and remote spaces across sub-Saharan Africa has been an important subject of public and academic debate. Yet, these debates have often been ‘gender-free’, neglecting to consider the relationship between the presence of extractive companies and the everyday and structural violence experienced by women in local communities. In this chapter, we argue that the security threats created by intensifying extractive activities in these areas are often gendered. Drawing upon fieldwork data collected in Ghana and Kenya between January 2013 and March 2015, the chapter raises concerns about the lack of adequate policy responses to the gendered implications of resource extraction and associated insecurity, despite growing evidence that extractive activities have differential impacts across gender identities. While many local-level security challenges relating to resource extraction have been elevated into the realm of international security concerns, the real and pressing gendered security threats caused by extractive activities have yet to be widely acknowledged by international actors. Thus, our analysis of the gendered threats to human security created by extractive companies at the local level draws attention to inequalities in the human security agenda at both local and global levels, as well as in both theory and in practice.
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