‘Period Problems’ at the Coalface


Lahiri-Dutt, Kuntala, and Kathryn Robinson. 2008. “‘Period Problems’ at the Coalface.” Feminist Review 89 (January): 102–21. doi:10.2307/40663963.

Authors: Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt, Kathryn Robinson


Menstruation leave for women workers brings into the public domain of mining ongoing debates around protective legislation for women. It brings into focus the presumed tensions between gender equity and gender difference with regard to women's economic citizenship. Large-scale mining in East Kalimantan in Indonesia has offered some opportunities to poor and unskilled rural women to find formal jobs in the mines as truck and heavy equipment operators. This paper presents a case study of women in mining occupations, considers the implications of current menstruation leave provisions on the employment of women in the mines and raises serious issues related to gender equity in the workplace. The involvement of women in a non-conventional workplace such as the mine pits, providing a novel site for contestation over the rights of women workers, illuminates a less-debated area in feminist studies, especially in view of the significant ongoing changes in the Indonesian framework for industrial relations.

Topics: Economies, Extractive Industries, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Governance, Health, Reproductive Health, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Indonesia

Year: 2008

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