Until recently, women were largely invisible as miners within the array of initiatives, laws and policies seeking to regulate mining in sub-Saharan Africa. This invisibility is beginning to change as gender and women are increasingly referenced in mining reform initiatives. In this paper, we provide an overview of extant research on gender and women’s livelihoods in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM), mostly of precious or high-value minerals, and some of the gaps that the papers assembled in this special issue address. This introductory paper also seeks to frame the special issue by questioning the forms of visibility of “women in mining” in policy and scholarly work. Knowledge claims about women and their mining work need to be emplaced within wider presumptions, power relations and political economies at various scales. Gender, we argue, provides an important analytical and methodological lens to critically consider the materialization of “women” in relation to ASM.

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Canadian Journal of African Studies
Department of Law and Legal Studies

Buss, D, & Rutherford, B. (2020). Gendering women’s livelihoods in artisanal and small-scale mining: an introduction. Canadian Journal of African Studies. doi:10.1080/00083968.2019.1691028