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Informal Economies

Gendered Livelihoods and Land Tenure: The Case of Artisanal Gold Miners in Mali, West Africa

Citation:

Brottem, Leif V., and Lassine Ba. 2019. “Gendered Livelihoods and Land Tenure: The Case of Artisanal Gold Miners in Mali, West Africa.” Geoforum 105 (October): 54–62.

Authors: Leif V. Brottem, Ba Lassine

Abstract:

Artisanal small-scale mining (ASM) is an important source of income for millions of sub-Saharan Africans. Scholars from various disciplines have demonstrated that urban and rural Africans take up mining as a response to unemployment, lack of credit and poor income prospects in the agricultural sector, and as a way for young people to achieve a degree of personal autonomy. Although several studies have investigated the role of women in artisanal mining, little attention has been given to the gendered land tenure rights that govern mineral resource access and that shape the prospects for mining as a viable livelihood strategy. This article presents evidence that women exploit artisanal mining opportunities in ways that differ from those of men based on gender differences in land tenure relations. Customary and freehold tenure regimes—through their flexibility and place-based functionality—create unique income-generating and investment opportunities for women at artisanal gold mining sites in western Mali. Specifically, the unique labor demands and commercial aspects of artisanal gold extraction interact with the host-stranger dynamics of customary tenure regimes to create labor market opportunities that women are able to exploit. Mining income invested in freehold land property enables women to achieve or at least strive for a degree of financial autonomy that is difficult or impossible within the unequal gender relations that characterize other rural economic activities, especially agriculture. Customary and formal land tenure institutions play a complex role that both constrains and enables these livelihood strategies, which are based on geographic mobility and power-laden social relations within rural economies that are increasingly monetized.

Keywords: artisanal mining, land tenure, gender, political ecology, livelihoods, West Africa

Topics: Economies, Informal Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Gender Analysis, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Households, Land Tenure, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Mali

Year: 2019

Women Sapphire Traders in Madagascar: Challenges and Opportunities for Empowerment

Citation:

Lawson, Lynda, and Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt. 2020. “Women Sapphire Traders in Madagascar: Challenges and Opportunities for Empowerment.” The Extractive Industries and Society 7 (2): 405–11. 

Authors: Lynda Lawson, Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt

Abstract:

Recent literature has seen a growing appreciation of livelihoods based on informal artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) that supplements women’s primary reproductive roles, leaving a gap in the parts women play at the trading end of the value chain of ASM. This paper fills that void by adding to the growing body of research on gendered trade in ASM. It focuses on women traders and the complex challenges and opportunities they face while carrying out this informal trade. The paper is based on extensive field research, interviews, and focus group discussions of women sapphire traders in southwest Madagascar, colloquially known as “ladies in hats,” who work in clan-based associations described as nascent proto-institutions. It draws upon institutional and entrepreneurial theory to understand their position in the sapphire value chain, and illuminates how women’s status could be strengthened to create the foundation for a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem. The paper also asks how women traders can be empowered in view of the current opportunities and challenges, and suggests that the proto-institutions could form the basis of a cooperative or a small company if regulatory and financial settings for these women can be improved and if there is an opportunity for them to formalize their trade.

Keywords: women in informal trade in Africa, Madagascar women, Madagascar sapphire, gender and mining

Topics: Economies, Informal Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Gender Roles, Women, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Madagascar

Year: 2020

Formalization of Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo: An Opportunity for Women in the New Tin, Tantalum, Tungsten and Gold (3TG) Supply Chain?

Citation:

Byemba, Gabriel Kamundala. 2020. “Formalization of Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo: An Opportunity for Women in the New Tin, Tantalum, Tungsten and Gold (3TG) Supply Chain?” The Extractive Industries and Society 7 (2): 420–7.

Author: Gabriel Kamundal Byemba

Abstract:

This paper analyzes the opportunities, constraints and challenges for women in Tantalum, Tungsten, Tin and Gold (3TG) supply chains in the artisanal and smallscale mining (ASM) sector of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Drawing on empirical qualitative data collected during five months of field research between 2015 and 2018, the paper analyzes the governance structures of, and power relations within, 3TG ASM supply chains in the eastern DRC, with special emphasis on women's roles. The analysis offers clues as to why, in eastern DRC, women's positions in 3TG ASM supply chains changed after formalization.

Topics: Economies, Informal Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2020

Gender, Domestic Energy and Design of Inclusive Low-Income Habitats: A Case of Slum Rehabilitation Housing in Mumbai, India

Citation:

Sunikka-Blank, Minna, Ronita Bardhan, and Anika Nasra Haque. 2019. “Gender, Domestic Energy and Design of Inclusive Low-Income Habitats: A Case of Slum Rehabilitation Housing in Mumbai, India.” Energy Research & Social Science 49 (March): 53–67.

Authors: Minna Sunikka-Blank, Ronita Bardhan, Anika Nasra Haque

Abstract:

Women's involvement in decision-making in domestic energy remains an under-researched area, especially in the urban context. This research adopts a gendered perspective in exploring slum rehabilitation housing in India. Based on a household survey and a focus group discussion (FGD), women’s household and working practices are explored in interview narratives and systems analysis. The findings show that the relocation to slum re- habilitation housing (SRH) has radically changed women’s household routines (cooking, comfort, childrearing, working and entertainment practices) and that women are more affected by the relocation than men. Changed practices, poor design of SRH and lack of outdoor space have radically increased electricity use and living costs in all the surveyed households. The economic pressure forces women into lowly paid jobs or informal economy, creating a vicious circle where women’s time poverty further reduces their social capital and opportunities for self-development in terms of education or formal employment. A comparison of SRH typologies shows that building design has great influence both on gendered use of space and electricity use, advocating a courtyard typology. Further, interviews with policy-makers reveal a dis-juncture between the occupant realities and the policy objectives. The paper argues that gender equality can and should be influenced through energy and housing policies and offers a conceptual framework for inclusive SRH to address this dis-juncture.

Keywords: gender, domestic energy use, inequality, design, slum rehabilitation housing

Topics: Economies, Informal Economies, Education, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Infrastructure, Energy Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2019

Gender and the Formal and Informal Systems of Local Public Finance in Sierra Leone

Citation:

van den Boogaard, Vanessa. 2018. “Gender and the Formal and Informal Systems of Local Public Finance in Sierra Leone.” Working Paper No. 87, International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD), Brighton. 

Author: Vanessa van den Boogaard

Abstract:

This paper considers how men and women in eastern and northern Sierra Leone interact differently with formal and informal revenue collection. It argues that the literature on tax and gender equity needs to be expanded in low-income countries to pay greater attention to the ways that citizens pay for public services in practice. It shows that formal taxation affects a very small proportion of the population, and especially of the female population. The reality is that women primarily pay for services at the local level through informal revenue contributions, which has the potential to reinforce gender inequities on account of the implications for intra-household divisions of power and lack of associated opportunities for political representation.

Keywords: gender, informal systems, local public finance, Sierra Leone

Topics: Economies, Informal Economies, Public Finance, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Households, Political Participation Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2018

Toilet Not Taxes: Gender Inequity in Dar es Salaam’s City Markets

Citation:

Siebert, Marius and Anna Mbise. 2018. “Toilet Not Taxes: Gender Inequity in Dar es Salaam’s City Markets.” ICTD Working Paper 89, ICTD (The International Center for Tax and Development), Brighton. 

Authors: Marius Siebert, Anna Mbise

Abstract:

In this paper we examine market taxation in Dar es Salaam from a gender perspective. We do not find any evidence of gender bias in the way market traders are taxed, but we do find a major gender issue that we did not expect – toilet fees. Female traders pay up to 18 times more for their daily use of the market toilets than they pay as market tax. High toilet fees have a differential and adverse impact on women, who require toilets more frequently than men, and have fewer alternatives. This shows that a focus on formal taxation systems does not reveal all complex linkages between gender and taxation in the informal sector of developing countries. A gender-aware perspective on market taxation requires us to look wholistically at gender-differentiated patterns of use and funding of collective goods and services. 

 

Keywords: tax, gender, toilets, informal sector, service provision, hygiene, local authorities, Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, gender and tax, informal taxation, market traders

Topics: Economies, Informal Economies, Public Finance, Gender Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Tanzania

Year: 2018

Expensive to Be a Female Trader: The Reality of Taxation of Flea Market Traders in Zimbabwe

Citation:

Ligomeka, Waziona. 2019. “Expensive to Be a Female Trader: The Reality of Taxation of Flea Market Traders in Zimbabwe.” Working Paper No. 93, ICTD (International Centre for Tax and Development), Brighton.

Author: Waziona Ligomeka

Abstract:

Interest is growing in taxing small-scale traders in developing countries in both the academic literature and the policy arena. This interest is due to the large and often growing portion of small-scale businesses in many developing economies, which is eroding their formal tax bases. Zimbabwe is slowly, but increasingly taxing this sector. In 2005 the country introduced a simplified tax regime targeting small-scale businesses, requiring them to pay a presumptive tax instead of the standard corporate tax. Initially, only a limited number of business types were subject to the presumptive tax. However, in 2011 additional small-scale business types were included in the regime. The interest to tax the small-scale sector emanates from the gradual but significant increase in the number of small-scale traders and the reduction in formal tax revenue as a result of a decline in economic activities. As a percentage of its total economy, Zimbabwe has the second largest informal sector in the world, with 60.6% of its economy engaged in small-scale business. However, as the drive to tax more small-scale businesses is increasing in Zimbabwe, the reality of taxing this sector is unclear. Accordingly, this study aims to answer the following questions: 1. What kind of taxes do flea market traders pay in Zimbabwe? 2. What proportion of a flea market trader’s income is paid in taxes? 3. Is there gender disparity in the taxation of flea market traders?

Keywords: gender, market, tax, tax burden, Zimbabwe

Topics: Economies, Informal Economies, Public Finance, Gender Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Zimbabwe

Year: 2019

Domestic Environmental Labour: An Ecofeminist Perspective on Making Homes Greener

Citation:

Farbotko, Carol. 2018. Domestic Environmental Labour: An Ecofeminist Perspective on Making Homes Greener. New York: Routledge.

Author: Carol Farbotko

Annotation:

Summary:
This book addresses the question of domestic environmental labour from an ecofeminist perspective. A work of cultural geography, it explores the proposition that the practice and politics of domestic labour being undertaken in the name of ‘the environment’ needs to be better recognized, understood and accounted for as a phenomenon shaped by, and shaping of, gender, class and spatial relations.
 
The book argues that a significant yet neglected phenomenon worthy of research attention is the upsurge in voluntary, and yet mostly unrecognized, domestic environmental labour in high-consuming households in late modernity, with the burden often falling on women seeking to green their lives and homes in aid of a sustainable planet. Further, because domestic environmental labour is undervalued in governance and the formal economy, much like other types of domestic labour, householders have become an unrecognized and unaccounted-for supply of labour for the greening of capitalism.
 
Situated within broad global debates on links between ecological and social change, the book has relevance in the many jurisdictions around the world in which households are positioned as sites of environmental protection through green consumption. The volume engages existing interest in household environmental behaviour and practice, advancing understanding of these topics in new ways. (Summary from Routledge)
 
Table of Contents: 
1. Introduction
 
2. The Green Home Imperative
 
3. Privatising Greening and The Work of Green Technology
 
4. Reclaiming Domestic Environmental Labour: Alternative Domestic Green Politics
 
5. Conclusion: Nature, Work, Home

Topics: Economies, Ecological Economics, Informal Economies, Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Households, Livelihoods

Year: 2018

Women Smuggling and the Men who Help Them: Gender, Corruption and Illicit Networks in Senegal

Citation:

Howson, Cynthia. 2012. “Women Smuggling and the Men who Help Them: Gender, Corruption and Illicit Networks in Senegal.” Journal of Modern African Studies 50 (3): 421-45.

Author: Cynthia Howson

Abstract:

This paper investigates gendered patterns of corruption and access to illicit networks among female cross-border traders near the Senegambian border. Despite a discourse of generosity and solidarity, access to corrupt networks is mediated by class and gender, furthering social differentiation, especially insofar as it depends on geographic and socio-economic affinity with customs officers, state representatives and well-connected transporters. Issues of organisational culture, occupational identity and interpersonal negotiations of power represent important sources of corruption that require an understanding of the actual dynamics of public administration. While smuggling depends on contesting legal and social boundaries, the most successful traders (and transporters) strive to fulfil ideal gender roles as closely as possible. Ironically, trading on poverty and feminine vulnerability only works for relatively affluent women.

Topics: Corruption, Economies, Informal Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Femininity/ies, Trafficking, Human Trafficking Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Senegal

Year: 2012

Gendering Insecurities, Informalization and "War Economies"

Citation:

Peterson, V. Spike. 2016. “Gendering Insecurities, Informalization and ‘War Economies.’” In The Palgrave Handbook of Gender and Development, edited by W. Harcourt, 441-62. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Author: V. Spike Peterson

Abstract:

David Roberts (2008) observes that defining human security is more contentious than defining human insecurity (also Burke 2007). Like many others, Roberts draws on diverse literatures referencing institutional, indirect, or structural violence to generate a definition of insecurity as “avoidable civilian deaths, occurring globally, caused by social, political and economic institutions and structures, built and operated by humans and which could feasibly be changed” (2008, 28). Indirect or structural violence refers to the presumably unintended but recurring patterns of suffering or harm that result from the way social institutions or structures “order” expectations, norms, and practices.1 “War” is arguably a display of structural violence at its extremity. Feminists have produced incisive accounts of how in/security, violence, conflicts, and wars are pervasively gendered.2 But existing analyses tend to focus on masculinist identities and ideologies in the context of embodied and “political” forms of violence, leaving aside how these are inextricably linked to economic phenomena.

Keywords: informal economy, informal activity, human security, international relations, social reproduction

Topics: Conflict, Economies, Informal Economies, War Economies, Feminisms, Gendered Power Relations, Masculinism, Security, Human Security, Violence

Year: 2016

Pages

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