The Feminisation of Mining


Lahiri‐Dutt, Kuntala. 2015. “The Feminisation of Mining.” Geography Compass 9 (9): 523–541. 

Author: Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt


This paper argues that feminisation is beginning to occur in the mining industry, a process associated with an expanded notion of mining as a livelihood in the radically changing political economy of extractive industries. It demonstrates that new gendered geographies are being created as grinding rural poverty pushes large numbers of women into informal mining (also known as artisanal and small‐scale mining or ASM)—a fundamentally different type of economic activity from the capitalised, industrialised mining operated by large corporations. Further, it shows that a number of civil society initiatives, industry measures, policy processes and action‐research with large‐scale mining corporations are currently underway in response to an overall enhanced awareness of gender mainstreaming. It argues that these initiatives, ensued from women's struggles and feminist contributions, are helping to integrate gender more firmly in a wide range of extractive environments, and how these have enhanced the visibility of women and gender in mining. The paper ends by indicating the existing gaps in inquiry and possible directions for future research by feminist geographers into these gendered economic spaces.

Topics: Civil Society, Extractive Industries, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming, Livelihoods, Political Economies

Year: 2015

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