Feminist group crashes mining meeting in Australia

Australian Mining is reporting a group of bearded women belonging to the feminist group La Barbe, crashed last night’s Melbourne Mining Club meeting to congratulate the mining industry for its exclusion of women and its lobbying against the carbon tax.

Wearing fake beards, the hairy representatives said they wanted to “congratulate the beard dominated gathering on its efforts to strengthen the patriarchy by fast tracking climate change,” quotes the newspaper.

La Barbe (The Beard) is a French feminist group started several years ago in response to the sexist media treatment of Segolene Royal in her presidential race against Nicholas Sarkozy.

“While they were polite, they were uninvited and unwelcome, and their issues seemed to be addressed not so much at the mining industry rather more at women’s role in society in general,” Melbourne Mining Club’s Chris Fraser told Australian Mining.

Recently, Australia has been publicly supporting the inclusion of women in mining.

At the en of 2011, a group called Australia Women in Resources Alliance (AWRA) was created to increase female participation in the sector. The group is working in partnership with the industry and the Federal Government’s Critical Skills Investment Fund to boost the attraction and retention rate of women in the resources industry.

Last February, the New South Wales Minerals Council launched a Women in Mining Network to boost female participation in the industry, which stands at just 10%.

And in March, the University of Queensland published a study, commissioned by the Resources and Engineering Skills Alliance (RESA), recommending a far greater involvement of women in mining as they are  “the largest, mostly untapped, labour pool available to the industry.”

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