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Library / Artisanal Mining, Conflict, and Sexual Violence in...
Source: The Extractive Industries and Society, 2016
Author(s): Siri Aas Rustad, Gudrun Østby, and Ragnhild Nordås
Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Topics: Extractive Resources, Governance, Livelihoods
The natural resource abundance of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has featured in policy debates as the prime example of ‘conflict minerals’ driving conflict-related sexual violence. This narrative has dominated how the conflict in the eastern part of the country has been portrayed in the media and by high-level policy-makers. Despite increased attention to research on mining and gender, systematic analyses of the links between mining, conflict, and sexual violence are scarce. This paper contributes to filling this gap by exploring how artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) and sexual violence are related in Eastern DRC. We combine new subnational data on the geographical location of ASM sites with detailed survey data from the 2013/2014 Demographic and Health survey of women aged 15–49 on their exposure to sexual violence committed by their intimate partners and by others (non-partners). The results indicate that women living in close proximity to ASM are indeed more likely to experience sexual violence of both types, although the effect is stronger for non-partner sexual violence. In the Kivus and Maniema, the risk of experiencing non-partner sexual is particularly high for women that live close to a mine with the presence of an armed actor.