Based on field observations and interviews involving 49 women miners in the Prestea–Huni Valley Municipality of Ghana, this paper discusses the on-site challenges of women in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) through multiple standpoint and African feminism theoretical perspectives. It also examines how understanding the struggles of women can reduce their work-related risks and promote gender-sensitive policies for rural women’s empowerment in ASM. The study finds that the struggles of working women in ASM involve cultural marginalization and gendered work patterns, poor working environment, poor work support services for women with children, lack of legal and economic rights, and inter-ethnic discrimination by employers. This paper argues that policymakers, relevant stakeholders, and the government through the district assemblies should collaborate with small-scale mining employers to enhance gender-sensitive on-site regulatory policies, ensure safe working environments for workers, and provide locally appropriate work support services for women in ASM. Further, government and regulatory institutions need to promote gender mainstreaming for ‘inclusion of women’ in the management structure at mine sites and also the extraction and processing stages of ASM.
Biography of speaker
Mr. Arthur-Holmes Francis
Mr. Francis Arthur-Holmes is a PhD candidate at the Department of Sociology and Social Policy, Lingnan University, Hong Kong. He holds an MPhil degree in Development Studies from the University of Oxford, United Kingdom (UK). He had his bachelor’s degree in Geography and Rural Development with Economics as a minor at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana. Based on his academic background, he considers himself as an interdisciplinary researcher. His research experience and expertise cover areas such as artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM), global health, gender studies, ageing studies, elder abuse, student politics and household dynamics, etc.