Working Conditions of Male and Female Artisanal and Small-Scale Goldminers in Ghana: Examining Existing Disparities


Armah, Frederick Ato, Sheila A. Boamah, Reginald Quansah, Samuel Obiri, and Isaac Luginaah. 2016. “Working Conditions of Male and Female Artisanal and Small-Scale Goldminers in Ghana: Examining Existing Disparities.” The Extractive Industries and Society 3 (2): 464–74. doi:10.1016/j.exis.2015.12.010.

Authors: Frederick Ato Armah, Sheila A. Boamah, Reginald Quansah, Samuel Obiri, Isaac Luginaah


Artisanal and small scale mining (ASM) provides a livelihood to more than 100 million men and women worldwide, mostly in the global south. Although the sector is male-dominated, the number of women engaged in its activities has increased dramatically in recent years, underscoring the need for critical assessment of their environmental, health and safety working conditions. Based on a cross-sectional survey of 482 male and 106 female artisanal and small-scale goldminers in Ghana, this study examines the disparities in the mean scores of the environment, health, safety and economic working conditions between male and female goldminers. Using four counterfactual decomposition techniques, inequality in working conditions was disaggregated according to group differences in the magnitudes of the determinants and group differences in the effects of the determinants. The difference in the mean values of the estimated coefficients accounts for much of the difference in environment, health, safety, and economic working conditions between the male and female artisanal and small-scale goldminers. This implies that the gap in working conditions between the two groups may be attributed to discrimination, but it may also emanate from the influence of unobserved variables. Gender-specific differences exist for the artisanal and small-scale goldminers surveyed: age and years of experience are salient for men, whereas education and number of years lived in the community are more important for women.

Topics: Environment, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Men, Health, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2016

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