This paper explores the gendered contexts of artisanal and small-scale mining in sub-Saharan Africa, and traces how women are likely to be excluded from current policy pushes to formally regulate the sector. Drawing on qualitative and quantitative research results from six artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sites, two in each of Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda, the paper traces how the gendered organization of mining roles, when viewed in relation to women's disproportionate household and care work, and the gendered norms around what women should do, devalues and delimits women's mining work. The result, we argue, is that most women will be unlikely to access mining licenses or join and effectively participate in decision-making in miners’ associations/cooperatives. Seemingly neutral interventions like licenses or grouping miners into cooperatives may thus incorporate while normalizing existing gendered exclusions. The paper argues for a recalibration of ASM formalization to ensure that gender is placed at the centre of design and implementation.

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Extractive Industries and Society
Department of Law and Legal Studies

Buss, D, Rutherford, B, Stewart, J. (Jennifer), Côté, G.E. (Gisèle Eva), Sebina-Zziwa, A. (Abby), Kibombo, R. (Richard), … Lebert, J. (Joanne). (2019). Gender and artisanal and small-scale mining: implications for formalization. Extractive Industries and Society. doi:10.1016/j.exis.2019.10.010