Photo acknowledgement: Dahlia Maubane

Our approach


The ultimate long-term ‘change’ (or development impact) we are searching for (well beyond the scope of WoMin) is a post-extractivist, eco-feminist development alternative. The WoMin theory of change can be summarised in three objectives:

  • The first, and central, objective is our commitment to impacted women organised in grassroots formations and movements powering the change. Our work is oriented to organising and movement-building of peasant and working-class women impacted by the extractives industries. What has become more obvious as our work has developed is that, given the expansive nature of the change, this movement-building needs to be intersected and to involve diverse constituencies.

  • The second objective is to support reforms that are located within a wider strategy of transitioning to a post-extractivist society. This approach may be termed transformative reformism (or non-reformist reforms). The ‘issues’ that focus our work from this perspective are the question of consent (a significant piece of work conceptualised in 2015 and beginning in 2016), compensation, and environmental regulation and enforcement. The latter two will not be significant foci in 2016 due to capacity and resource constraints but are critically important to force the internalisation of social, environmental and economic costs to corporates.

  • Our final objective is to identify, develop and advance the post-extractivist women-centred progressive and ecologically responsive African alternative to destructive extractivism. This work cuts across all of our research, training, organising and campaigning efforts and is a specific project focus for the WoMin research programme. WoMin cannot advance an agenda of development alternatives on its own so must promote cross-sectoral and cross-movement collaboration, building on existent alternatives, and piloting with others.

  • Moreover, when we began at the end of 2012 there were tiny pockets of work addressing mining and women/gender. Three years later, this work has expanded significantly, and while the political perspectives and strategies are greatly diverse, the existence of much of this new effort can in large part be attributed to the work of WoMin.

Since the launch of WoMin in October 2013, our work with partners and allies has led to core focus areas. Our methodologies have evolved such that we can now start to speak of an evolving approach which may begin to satisfy a ‘living’ women-centred, women-empowered, and women’s movement-building commitment. This approach is not fixed and will likely evolve as our transformation insights deepen.


WoMin approach and areas of focus


Established allies

  • Political education

  • Fossil fuels, energy, climate justice and women's rights

  • Women's organising/ movement building

  • Consent and democratised socio-economic decision-making

  • Women's solidarity

  • Extractivism, militarisation and violence against women

  • Feminist research

  • Women-led, grassroots-driven campaigning

  • Cross movement alliance-building