ActionAid South Africa in partnership with womxn Affected by Mining United in Action (WAMUA) and Mining Affected Communities United in Action (MACUA) hosted a 3-day Leadership School in November 2018 from the 17th to the 20th. The purpose of the Leadership School was to critically engage on challenges facing social justice movements in the mining sector, including gendered violence, exploitation of womxn and the role of NGOs in perpetuating inequality and abuse.

WAMUA started by mapping the degree of abuse and violence pervasive within the movement, how patriarchy materialises within WAMUA and MACUA and what fundamental shifts are needed in the working of civil society to ensure that womxn are safe to organise with their male counterparts. Within the course of the conference it was unpacked and made clear how there are power dynamics within the movement because of the norms that deem men superior than womxn and how this manifests within the movement and further determines tools for collective accountability to render MACUA a sexist free space that is safe for womxn to organise within, without fear of prejudice and violence.

What are some of the conditions that force womxn to perpetuate patriarchy? What can womxn do to change this?

Olwethu Kota from eRhini/Makhanda shares her expectations of the Mining & Extractives Leadership School. Olwethu hopes to build solidarities with other womxn across the continents and gain tools to continue organising against the oppression of womxn.