Women and Gender in the Mines: Challenging Masculinity Through History: An Introduction

Citation:

Romano, Rossana Barragán, and Leda Papastefanaki. 2020. “Women and Gender in the Mines: Challenging Masculinity Through History: An Introduction.” International Review of Social History 65 (2): 191–230. 

Authors: Rossana Barragán Romano, Leda Papastefanaki

Abstract:

The role of women as mineworkers and as household workers has been erased. Here, we challenge the masculinity associated with the mines, taking a longer-term and a global labour history perspective. We foreground the importance of women as mineworkers in different parts of the world since the early modern period and analyse the changes introduced in coal mining in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, the masculinization and mechanization, and the growing importance of women in contemporary artisanal and small-scale mining. The effect of protective laws and the exclusion of women from underground tasks was to restrict women's work more to the household, which played a pivotal role in mining communities but is insufficiently recognized. This process of “de-labourization” of women's work was closely connected with the distinction between productive and unproductive labour. This introductory article therefore centres on the important work carried out in the household by women and children. Finally, we present the three articles in this Special Theme and discuss how each of them is in dialogue with the topics addressed here. Many thanks also to Marie-José Spreeuwenberg for her invaluable engagement.

Topics: Extractive Industries, Gender, Gender Roles, Masculinity/ies, Women

Year: 2020

© 2021 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.