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A feminist ethical analysis of the Democratic Republic of the Congo's mining policy.

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This study ethically analyzes from a feminist perspective the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Mining Policy as outlined in the Mining Code of 2002. Considering its standing as one of the key economic sectors of the DRC, the mining industry required a legal framework able to attract more investors and stimulate economic growth. Besides the mining industry being well-regulated, it was expected to create financial resources for the development of the country and enable employment opportunities for the citizens, including women. In fact, in order to find employment and earn a decent living, women joined the mining industry. In spite of such expectations, the thesis observes that women’s status has continued to be compromised due to poverty and abuse. The study argues that there is a gap in knowledge concerning a feminist ethical approach to issues affecting women in the mines. Furthermore, the study observes that the DRC’s Mining Policy of 2002 is silent on legal dispositions regarding issues related to women’s interests such that women’s vulnerabilities in the mining industry are deepened. They include the lack of gender sensitivity, the lack of a policy facilitating the ownership of mines permits by women, the neglect of human and economic rights of women. To account for these gaps, the thesis points to the cultural and institutional patriarchal systems that keep women away from the decision-making tables that formulate and implement socio-economic policies. As a result, women’s economic and human capabilities for a good human life are seriously impeded. In order to foster an ethical mining practice that is sensitive to gender justice, the study proposes the implementation of an Ethical Mining Workplace. This is a framework based on the virtues of good governance, caring, fair sharing of the mineral resources, and the promotion of basic human rights for miners. Finally, this study contends that when applied in the DRC’s mining industry, these virtues can transform the mining workplace so as to foster socio-economic development through the participation of women in mining.


Doctor of Philosophy in Ethics. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg 2017.


Theses - Ethics Studies.