Weighing Benefits and Risks

Gender Equity

The Issue

Gender issues and considerations are important for understanding how communities can maximize benefits from development. Although studies that use gender-based analysis specific to the LNG sector are not widely available, studies completed in other resource sectors such as mining and forestry raise a number of relevant considerations.

Scholars and practitioners working on BAs acknowledge that increasing representation alone does not guarantee that meaningful inclusion in governance spaces will follow. As an area of further research, it should be noted that elected women council members involved in BA negotiations could also offer deeper insights into gender dynamics and power-relations in BA-related in governance and decision-making. Further analysis is also warranted given the strong representation of women in spaces such as the FNLNGA’s governance structures.

In practice, systemic gender-based discrimination can be reproduced in BAs, and this can limit women’s participation. These impacts can include women’s loss of traditional rights to make decisions about land and resources (Keenan, Kemp and Ramsay, 2014). Analysis is also important to identify patterns of exclusion that are magnified or even result from BAs. For instance, these groups could include middle-aged women who had yet to acquire the status of ‘elder’; young women and young mothers; women (and their families) who have married or migrated into the community; women in male-headed households; and female-headed households (e.g., widows and single mothers) (Keenan, Kemp and Ramsay, 2014, 611).


While the use of an intersectional gender lens is widely accepted and practiced in the development sector, consideration of gender is often absent in community-level practice across a variety of sectors. This is important because gender differences and gender relations are invariably linked to social inequality, marginalization and exclusion from development opportunities.

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