Digging to Survive: Women’s Livelihoods in South Asia’s Small Mines and Quarries


Lahiri-Dutt, Kuntala. 2008. “Digging to Survive: Women’s Livelihoods in South Asia’s Small Mines and Quarries.” South Asian Survey 15 (2): 217–44. 

Author: Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt


The global trend of the informalisation of women’s work is also evident in what is commonly known as artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) practices. Small mines and quarries are extremely diverse in nature, but comprise a repository of extremely poor people. This article focuses on the gender and livelihood issues and concerns in small mines and quarries of South Asia. In view of the lack of official quantitative data, the research presented here is based on proxy indicators and field surveys. It addresses a gap in existing knowledge in ASM and makes visible gender roles in the informal work in the mines and quarries. The article provides the necessary backdrop, relevant information and interpretation of livelihood needs with a view to sensitising policy-makers to the issues rooted in gender.

Topics: Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, South Asia

Year: 2008

© 2024 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.