Barrick is partnering with the non-governmental organization (NGO) White Ribbon to implement gender-based violence prevention programming at several Barrick mine sites and host communities.
“Men and boys have an important role to play by promoting gender equality and speaking out against gender-based violence,” says Todd Minerson, Executive Director of White Ribbon. “We are proud to partner with Barrick to strengthen capacity across its mine sites and host communities to prevent violence against women and girls.”
The project is being rolled out initially in Nevada, Zambia and Papua New Guinea. Groundwork for the four-year project began in 2012 and involved meetings with stakeholders in each location to develop programs tailored to the unique needs of these diverse regions. This included consultations with service providers to ensure close collaboration with organizations that have local knowledge, expertise and relationships with the communities.
White Ribbon is the world’s largest movement of men and boys working to end violence against women and girls. It operates in 65 countries, collaborating with local partners to examine the root causes of gender-based violence and to promote a culture shift towards a future without violence. The White Ribbon represents a pledge for men and boys to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women and girls.
In Nevada, White Ribbon is working with the Western Shoshone community and has already helped to host a two day conference in Elko. The event gathered various bands and tribes of the Western Shoshone and social service providers from the community to talk about native history, culture and the leadership role of native men and boys to end violence against women. White Ribbon is also working with the NGO Communities in Schools, in Spring Creek in northeast Nevada, to develop a curriculum for youth in grades nine through 12 that will positively engage young men to challenge language and behaviors that lead to violence against women.
In addition, White Ribbon supported and participated in the Second Circle of Life Native Conference organized by the Shoshone-Paiute tribe in Duck Valley and hosted a two-day training session with an inter-tribal group of social service providers representing seven Western Shoshone tribes and bands. These service providers deliver domestic violence related support, outreach and education programs for women, men, and youth.
The curriculum will meet Nevada statute standards and builds on an existing anti-bullying program. Barrick has several mines in Nevada.
The organization used a needs assessment process to identify strategies to address specific cultural contexts within the Hispanic communities in Elko and Winnemucca. The Hispanic communities represent over twenty percent of the population in the region and look to the mines as a source of employment. Focusing on the Western Shoshone and Hispanic communities helps White Ribbon implement culturally meaningful solutions to address complex issues such as domestic violence. The organization also hosted its signature Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event in Winnemucca on April 25. Underground miners from Barrick’s Turquoise Ridge operation, along with men from the local community, donned high-heeled shoes and walked a mile to help raise awareness and funds to address violence against women.
In Zambia, White Ribbon is in the process of implementing a program that builds critical knowledge and skills in financial management while helping participants to understand and challenge social norms that create inequalities between men and women. The training will be held with employees at Barrick’s Lumwana copper mine. In addition, the local YWCA chapter will be supporting White Ribbon in the implementation of initiatives such peer-to-peer outreach, work with youth and engaging cultural and faith leaders to highlight the positive role that men and boys can play in promoting gender equality and preventing violence against women and girls.
In Papua New Guinea, White Ribbon recently conducted a consultation with local partners, including the Porgera Women’s District Association, the Restoring Justice Initiative, community and faith leaders, and youth representatives to identify opportunities to collaborate on gender-based violence prevention initiatives in the Porgera Valley, host to Barrick’s Porgera mine.