Working in a Boom-Town: Female Perspectives on Gold-Mining in Burkina Faso

Citation:

Werthmann, Katja. 2009. “Working in a Boom-Town: Female Perspectives on Gold-Mining in Burkina Faso.” Resources Policy 34 (1-2): 18–23. doi:10.1016/j.resourpol.2008.09.002.

Author: Katja Werthmann

Abstract:

In Burkina Faso, informal mining camps attract girls and women from rural areas because they offer a variety of income generating activities and access to urban consumer goods. Moreover, migration to the mines also allows for a different life-style and greater personal freedom. On the other hand, by going to the mining camps, girls and women risk acquiring a bad reputation in their communities because they are suspected of having illicit sexual relationships. In fact, relationships with gold miners and the material benefits connected with them are among the lures of the gold mines. Thus, from a female perspective migration to the gold mines is fraught with ambivalence, which is expressed in songs performed by female day labourers.

Keywords: Burkina Faso, artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM), informal gold-mining, gender

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Girls, Livelihoods, Sexuality Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Burkina Faso

Year: 2009

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