Burkina Faso

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


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


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

The Invisible Water Managers


Dankelman, Irene, and Joan Davidson. 1988. “The Invisible Water Managers.” In Women and Environment in the Third World, 29–41. London: Earthscan Publications Limited.

Authors: Irene Dankelman, Joan Davidson


This chapter evaluates the UN’s International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade (1982-1992) by focussing specific attention on how successfully-- in light of structural, cultural, and gender-based discrimination-- limitations on women’s access to quality water supplies have been addressed. Dankelman and Davidson highlight a reality that subsequent academics use as the foundation of their argument: women already do a great deal to manage water on a daily basis when they make decisions on how to collect and transport, how different water sources of varying qualities should be used for different purposes, and how to purify drinking water. The authors use case studies from Burkina Faso, Kenya, and Brazil to illustrate how over centuries of performing these informal water management tasks, women have built up substantial knowledge of water, health, and sanitation that is passed on through generational exchanges and that must be acknowledged if improvements to water supplies are to be successful.

Topics: Gender, Women, Health, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, International Organizations Regions: Africa, East Africa, West Africa, Americas, South America Countries: Brazil, Burkina Faso, Kenya

Year: 1988

Africa, Africas


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