Women’s participation in large-scale mining (LSM) has been increasing in Mexico and worldwide; however, few comprehensive
studies exist on the socioeconomic effects of mining on women depending on the specific roles they play in this activity.
The objective of this study was to analyze, from a feminist political ecology perspective, the effects of mining on women in a
rural community in Sonora State, in arid northwest Mexico, a region with important participation of LSM in the country. For
this purpose, we developed a mixed methods approach combining literature review on gender and LSM, semistructured in-depth
interviews, and analysis of secondary government data. Most literature on women and mining treats them conceptually
as a homogeneous social group or focuses on only one role women play in mining. We address this gap by identifying several
roles women can play in their interactions with the mining sector and then analyzing and comparing the effects of mining
associated with these distinctive roles. In doing so, we unravel the gendered complexities of mining and highlight the socioecological
contradictions embedded in these dynamics for individual women who are faced with significant trade-offs.
Mining can provide economic and professional opportunities for women of varying educational and socioeconomic levels in otherwise
impoverished and landless rural households. At the same time, women are unable to, as one interviewee phrased it,
“break the glass ceiling even if using a miner’s helmet,” especially in managerial positions. Extraction of natural resources in
the community is accompanied by the extraction of social capital and personal lives of miners. We give voice to the social–
ecological contradictions lived by women in these multiple roles and offer potential insights both for addressing gender-based
inequities in mining and for avenues toward collective action and empowerment.
Media mention for Stephanie Buechler in an article by globalcitizen.org on how women are impacted differently by climate change. Stephanie was interviewed by a journalist at globalcitizen.org on women, water and climate change from her work near the U.S.-Mexico border on women’s work in agriculture and agricultural processing activities like cheese production and how growing water challenges are impacting their livelihoods.
The modern era is facing unprecedented governance challenges in striving to achieve long-term sustainability goals and to limit human impacts on the Earth system. This volume synthesizes a decade of multidisciplinary research into how diverse actors exercise authority in environmental decision making, and their capacity to deliver effective, legitimate and equitable Earth system governance. Actors from the global to the local level are considered, including governments, international organizations and corporations. Chapters cover how state and non-state actors engage with decision-making processes, the relationship between agency and structure, and the variations in governance and agency across different spheres and tiers of society. Providing an overview of the major questions, issues and debates, as well as the theories and methods used in studies of agency in earth system governance, this book provides a valuable resource for graduate students and researchers, as well as practitioners and policy makers working in environmental governance.
Adriana Zuniga and Christopher Scott of the Udall Center, along with John O’Neil of Research Innovation and Impact, represented the University of Arizona at the Border Solutions Alliance convocation held at the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine in Washington DC on February 6, 2020. Under the broad banner of “Data-Driven Discovery at the US-Mexico Border” Adriana moderated the session “Regional Sustainability” that examined research and potential solutions for Urban-Rural Resilience and Transboundary Watershed and Aquifer Resources, together with participants from the University of California San Diego, El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, New Mexico State University, and West Big Data Innovation Hub. John spoke on UArizona’s strengths in border research and policy. This event was the culmination of a series of workshops supported by the National Science Foundation that brought together researchers from universities along the border and across the border. The evening beforehand, the group was hosted at the Mexican Cultural Institute by the Mexican Ambassador to the U.S., Martha Bárcena (pictured with Adriana and Chris).
As part of the international seminar from January 27-29, ‘Resource Extraction: Impacts, Resistance and Conflict Resolution’, sponsored and organized by staff from the Udall Center of the University of Arizona; the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), iGlobes and LabExDRIIHM, a field trip was organized to the ASARCO Mission Mine and Discovery Center in Sahuarita, Arizona. Udall Center staff Dr. Stephanie Buechler and Molli Bryson joined seminar participants including Dr. America Lutz-Ley, COLSON professor and former graduate student and post doc with the Udall Center and with Arid Lands program at the University of Arizona as well as French colleagues and Edith Kauffer from CIESAS in Chiapas, Mexico. The open-pit mine is 1,400 feet deep and stretches two miles from north to south. The ASARCO mine (primarily copper is extracted there) is owned by Grupo Mexico, the same owner as a mine studied by Lutz-Ley and Buechler in Sonora, Mexico (for their forthcoming 2020 journal article: Mining and Women in Northwest Mexico: A Feminist Political Ecology Approach to Impacts on Rural Livelihoods. Human Geography, special issue “Gendered everyday resistance to the extractive industry.”). The group learned about the different processes involved in copper mining and where the copper and other ore extracted is sent afterwards for smelting Hayden, Arizona).
The Udall Center recently joined the Universities Partnership for Water Cooperation and Diplomacy (UPWCD), a network to strengthen water cooperation and diplomacy. As a partner, the Udall Center will involve its researchers and collaborators across the University of Arizona to contribute to the UPWCD’s mission to harness research, teaching, and engagement in international water policy and governance.
In October 2018, working with several campus units, the Udall Center organized a workshop, “Binational Water Relations at 75 Years.” The theme of the event was the anniversary of the Treaty of 1944 that governs water relations between the United States and Mexico.
A number of the attendees resolved to prepare some papers on U.S.-Mexico water relations, as well as on the larger topic of hydrodiplomacy across the globe.
Adriana Zuniga (Udall Center and CAPLA) and Andrea Gerlak (Udall Center and School of Geography & Development) recently led efforts to promote green infrastructure adoption at Star Academic High School in Tucson’s south side. Through a university-community partnership, UArizona professors, graduate and undergraduate students worked with high school students to transform their school by harnessing rainwater to support local vegetation. This video captures their latest efforts.
Adriana Zuniga gave a talk at the Arizona Senior Academy last Nov. 27, 2019 about the project “Tucson Verde para Todos” that is led by Andrea Gerlak and funded by several organizations including the Haury Program, the UA Green Fund, and the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture. This project aims to address environmental justice issues around green infrastructure in Tucson, AZ.
Stephanie Buechler and America Lutz-Ley publish a new article on youth and global environmental change in Mexico
entitled 'Livelihoods with Multiple Stressors: Gendered Youth Decision-making under Global Change in rural NW Mexico’ in the journal Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space.