EITI takes positive step toward greater transparency and gender equality

The board of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a platform to promote open and accountable oil and mining sectors, met in Kyiv this week and adopted major revisions to its global Standard, which is currently implemented in 52 countries. The revised EITI Standard will be finalized this spring and ratified at the EITI Global Conference in June.

“This week’s decision by the board of the EITI punctuates the fact that contract disclosure is now an established international norm. The new Standard will arm communities with the tools to better understand oil, gas and mining deals and how they can contribute to the fight against poverty,” said Isabel Munilla, Policy Lead for Extractive Industries Transparency at Oxfam America. “The gender provisions will also help us understand whether and how women benefit from the wealth under their feet and open up avenues for them to participate in decisions that impact their countries and communities. The era of secret deals and gender blindness in the oil, gas and mining sectors is coming to an end.”

Going forward, the revised EITI Standard will require countries to disclose new contracts signed or amended after January 2021, while continuing to encourage disclosure of all contracts. It requires publishing employment data broken down by gender and requires countries to consider gender when selecting participants to their national EITI steering groups. The new revisions also include updates around environmental reporting, project-level payment disclosure and commodity trading transparency.

Oxfam has strongly advocated for these revisions alongside our partner organizations in the Publish What You Pay coalition. This week we joined over 100 organizations from more than 40 countries to call for full contract disclosure. Last year, Oxfam published its first-ever Contract Disclosure Survey of oil, gas and mining companies’ policies related to contract disclosure and, in 2017, Oxfam released its Gender Impact Assessment Guide for the Extractive Industries.

“There is no question that this week represents a major step forward on the road to natural resource justice,” said Munilla. “But significant work remains. The EITI should build on this week’s achievements and quickly take stronger action on ensuring the EITI contributes in explicit ways to gender equality. When it comes to contract disclosure, many companies remain behind the curve and retroactive contract disclosure remains only an encouragement. Alongside our partners, we will leverage these wins, but continue our work to deliver full transparency and gender justice to counter the resource curse and fight poverty.”

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