Digging for Equality

Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Artisanal Mining

IMPACT’s Digging for Equality project aims to improve security, gender equality, and women’s empowerment in the artisanal mining sectors across three countries—Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Uganda, and Zimbabwe. The project will support women working in the artisanal and small-scale (ASM) sector to reduce the barriers that they face and support their efforts towards gender equality.

How Digging for Equality will improve security, gender equality & women’s empowerment in artisanal mining:

Ensure laws, policies, regulations, and practices affecting the ASM sector serve to improve women’s security and reduce gender inequality

Laws, regulations, policies, and government-led initiatives in DRC, Uganda, and Zimbabwe are often based on misinformation or prevailing stereotypes about women’s experiences in the sector and they do not support development objectives. The project will promote a legal and regulatory context, including fiscal regime where possible, to enhance gender equality, women’s security, and their participation in governance of the sector.

Provide capacity building, training, and awareness-raising to increase the economic benefits that women derive from ASM

Previous research has shown women lack the access and skills to perform more remunerated and status enhancing tasks in mine sites, which would increase their participation in decision making and leadership roles. The project will build the capacity of local mining organizations and their members, to improve economic benefits for women in the sector.

Build the capacity of women to become environmental stewards in ASM

Gendered environmental impacts are often those that are most easily overlooked or disregarded. The project will engage relevant stakeholders, and women in particular, to recognize and and mitigate the environmental conditions of their communities that have been negatively affected by mining, including the use of toxic substances such as mercury or cyanide, as well as climate change.

Implementing partners

IMPACT is partnering with Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) and Réseau d’Innovation Organisationnelle (RIO) to implement the project.


Digging for Equality is a three-year project which kicked off in 2020. Digging for Equality is undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through Global Affairs Canada.

Recent Highlights

Digging for Equality in Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, and Zimbabwe

March 2021
Learn more about how the Digging for Equality project aims to improve security, gender equality and women’s empowerment in the artisanal mining sectors actors the three countries.